First, What is BYOD?

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BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a program an organization puts in place allowing employees to use their personal devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops to work and connect to a corporate network. As personal devices continue to become more commonplace, more-and-more companies are implementing BYOD policies.

According to a survey conducted by Cisco, 95% of respondents said they allowed employee-owned devices in the office, and, 36% of those surveyed provide full support for BYOD devices. While BYOD can lower costs and improve efficiency, effectiveness, and morale, it also raises a host of security and legal compliance concerns.

BYOD Pros

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A growing number of organizations find the BYOD benefits outweigh the cons and are supportive of employee-owned devices in the workplace. Listed below are some of the most common BYOD advantages:


  • Increased Productivity

Contrary to the misconceptions of some organizations of personal devices being distracting in the workplace, there’s a growing body of evidence proving it may, in fact, boost productivity. To support this, Cito Research published a report citing that 53% of employees surveyed found they were more productive under a BYOD.

Some of the reasons behind the increased productivity are because personal devices allow employees to work whether inside or outside the office. Whether it’s checking emails, wrapping up a presentation, or finalizing a spreadsheet, employees are more likely to put extra hours in with the increased flexibility. Additionally, there is less of a learning curve since employees are already familiar with their own devices.


  • Employee Satisfaction

As with anything else in life, employees are happiest when they are presented with choices. BYOD does just that. It gives employees the flexibility over work-life balance by enabling them to schedule work and personal time as best suits them. This flexibility in return helps increase productivity as aforementioned and improve job satisfaction.


  • Reduced Cost

One of the biggest advantages to a BYOD program is the cost-savings. One of the reasons for this is the reduced spend on hardware. Employers no longer need to pay for corporate phones/tablets or upgrades and repairs needed over time. Embracing BYOD can also help reduce monthly costs of corporate plans.

According to a report published by Cisco, companies supporting a BYOD policy save on average $350 per year, per employee. 


BYOD Cons

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Along with the pros, there are quite a few cons to implementing a BYOD program. Fortunately, most of these concerns can be addressed through a well-crafted BYOD policy. Further down the page, we’ve provided guidelines for crafting such a policy.


  • Physical Security

    One of the biggest concerns is the security risk involved if a personal device is lost or misplaced outside of the office. This is most commonly a risk for mobile devices rather than tablets and laptops. Not only is there potentially sensitive data stored on the device, but it’s most likely connected to the company network as well. Such data in the wrong hands may not end well. One of the easiest ways of preventing this is by simply having a password-protected phone. For additional precautions, a company could also encrypt all sensitive data.

While a company may not have a BYOD in place, it’s likely employees are still using their personal-devices for work purposes to one degree or another. Because of this, it may not be a bad idea to put simple BYOD security guidelines in place.

  • Targeted attacks

Targeted attacks are another common concern preventing companies from implementing a BYOD program. Attacks can occur by downloading malicious applications from mobile market places. To prevent/mitigate these attacks, companies can use Mobile Device Management (MDM) software to block certain applications and programs from being installed. Another more encompassing solution is to add Endpoint Security measures. This will allow business to identify and manage any computers access over a corporate network providing more comprehensive features such as behavior monitoring, vulnerability and browser protection, and anti-malware features.

  • Vulnerabilities

    Outside of a targeted attack, occasionally employees fail to keep applications up-to-date placing organizations at risk. Outdated software can add additional vulnerabilities increasing the likelihood of a malicious attack.


Implementing BYOD Policies

Implementing a successful BYOD program goes beyond IT departments and network administrators, it should involve an organization as a whole. Here are some guidelines to help for establishing a successful and secure BYOD program.

  1. Make sure the policy is a “formal” policy.

  2. Specify which devices are allowed.

  3. Make it clear who owns the applications and data.

  4. Ensure employees only have access to information they need.

  5. Restrict particularly sensitive information from employee-owned devices.

  6. Decide which apps are allowed and which are restricted.

  7. Setup an employee exit strategy.

How We Can Help

We want your business to be successful. By making your enterprise MDM solutions efficient and effective, we will support you on your road to a successful and secure BYOD program. Feel free to give us a call at (801) 910-9838 or if you prefer, by completing our contact form.

 
 
 
Terms

Terms & Abbreviations

  • BYOD - Bring Your Own Device

  • BYOT - Bring Your Own Technology

  • BYOPC - Bring Your Own PC

  • MDM - Mobile Device Management is third-party security software that lets an IT department monitor, manage and secure employees' mobile devices.

  • MAM - Mobile Application Management software lets an IT department deploy and enforce corporate policies on mobile apps, and to limit data sharing between apps.

 

BYOD Statistics

  • According to a survey conducted by Cisco, 95% of respondents said they allowed employee-owned devices in the office, and, 36% of those surveyed provide full support for BYOD devices.

  • 53% of employees surveyed found they were more productive under a BYOD, according to Cito Research.

  • According to a report published by Cisco, companies supporting a BYOD policy save on average $350 per year, per employee. 

 
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