Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a hot topic in the business world right now. This policy allows employees to bring and use their personal mobile devices, laptops, smartphones, tablets and more to work. Is it safe for your office? There are benefits and risks to implementing BYOD you should consider before you allow this policy in your workplace.
BYOD may imply that client information is on personal devices, ones you cannot control. If you are in a compliance industry (PCI/SOX/HIPAA/ITAR, etc) this could cause serious trouble, but even without compliance issues, you should be careful of internal confidential information being on a device owned by an employee or consultant. Accidents happen and you don’t want your price list posted to Facebook. Carefully review the benefits of your staff having data at their fingertips with the associated risk.
In some states, you need to worry about overtime laws if employees check and reply to email or information requests after hours. You may be breaking the law by having honest people working hard for your firm, without pay. BYOD can elevate this situation by allowing work email to be on personal devices. Your staff means well, but the law is the law. Be sure to check with legal counsel on this issue.
Loss of Device Control
There are 2 additional scenarios to worry about apart from data security. One, what if your employee quits? Do you have the rights and ability to remotely erase their device? You certainly cannot have an ex-employee having any of your data. In addition, what if your employee loses their device? Do you have a process in place to erase it ASAP? Do you have a rule for the employee to tell you about the situation as soon as it happens to protect your information? If not, strangers could access your data without your knowledge
If you do decide to implement BYOD, will you be covering the employee’s data plan or part of it? How will you discriminate between personal use and corporate use? 4G wireless can eat up data plans quickly and a doubled cell phone bill at the end of the month is not a nice surprise. One benefit here is you can help the employee pay for part of the data plan and share the cost of the device, making it better and more affordable for both parties.
Familiarity and Ease of Use
Allowing your staff to use the device they are comfortable with and already familiar makes sense. The learning curve is quicker and staff will appreciate the fact that they don’t have to maintain and carry around 2 or more devices.
Bring your own device sounds great to many business owners to save money, but after careful analysis it may be too good to be true. Talk to your IT provider and get some answers before deciding. As always, KME Systems is happy to answer questions or point you in the right direction. We can be reached at 949-462-7001 ext 460 or firstname.lastname@example.org