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The Challenges of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Posted on Mon, Feb 2, 2015

It is an ever increasing trend among companies to allow employees to BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. This means employees have the opportunity to use their personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops as their professional devices and can bring them in to work in order to get their tasks accomplished.

But with the rise of BYOD there are also newfound challenges that companies need to face and find solutions for. In particular, the privacy and security accompanied with BYOD and how it can affect individual employees and the company as a whole. There are also other challenges related to security that need to be faced as well. 

Mixing Personal & Work Information
Probably the biggest challenge that companies face with BYOD beyond the actual mechanics of security is employees mixing their work information and projects with their personal information on their devices. This can possibly lead to crucial information being leaked or employees spending a bit more time texting family and friends or checking their personal email more often than their work email.

Regardless, it is crucial for any technology department to have a process and plan on how to handle personal devices being brought into the workplace. Security breaches are on the rise with hackers becoming even more prevalent in attempting to crack into company systems to steal private information. But accidental security risks can happen with bring your own device policies too that need to be addressed by the business.

Monitoring Work Being Done
With a company laptop or device, it is easier to track actual work being done by staff and that means better time management and record keeping. But when it's bring your own device, it can be a little difficult to know just what exactly is being done. While having an open BYOD policy in the workplace is fine, parameters still need to be set and employees must understand that work still needs to be done during business hours.

There are ways to monitor behavior and work, however. Devices can be registered through the company's BYOD system and servers to make sure that the device is safe, secure, and that work is indeed being completed. This can be done for all employees to ensure the best compliancy and to have some sort of centralized system that can easily monitor device behavior.

Prevent Hacking or Information Leaks
Speaking of security and the rise of online hacks, a little bit more detail should be covered on the high importance of ensuring that all devices that are on the premises of the business need to be highly secure. In particular, a device's behavior can be actively monitored for strange or suspicious things such as hacked email accounts or a computer virus that can harm other computers within the company.

There are several ways an IT manager can properly implement BYOD without having to worry about private company information being compromised and it all starts with the initial layers of security that must be enacted when bring your own device policies are started. Here's a step by step guide to visualize it better:

  • Like mentioned previously, all employee devices need to be properly registered. While they are indeed the employee's own devices, they are still carrying crucial information every day.
  • Have internal access manager so that unauthorized devices can't hop into the system and suddenly have access to other devices it can infect with a potential virus or even hack into to steal private data.
  • On top of behavior monitoring for your system, you need to also conduct endpoint admission defense and potentially have a traffic analyzer to help keep all access points highly secure.

Bring your own device is going to continue to become the norm with businesses and that means your company needs to be ready with robust security and very defined guidelines when it comes to personal and work related data.

governor-blogIf your IT department is having a hard time with the Bring Your Own Device changes, we know there are other challenges they are facing, such as managing their printer fleet and document security. Find helpful tips and guides for your IT department in our blog!

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