Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and policies allow people to choose devices that are suitable for them in the workplace. This policy empowers employees and gives them a push to become more mobile and productive. Employees and employers are seeing it as a plus in terms of flexibility along with huge cost savings.

Worker satisfaction is important for morale at all businesses and users have the laptops and smartphones for a reason – those are the devices they prefer, and they like them so much they invested their hard-earned money in them. Of course they’d rather use the devices they love rather than being stuck with laptops and mobile devices that are selected and issued by the IT department. BYOD devices tend to be more cutting edge, so the organization gets the benefit of the latest features and capabilities. Users also upgrade to the latest hardware more frequently than the painfully slow refresh cycles at most organizations.

There are, however some concerns with BYOD. Most employers enforce their employees to be responsible for all damages, considering that they personally own these devices. By embracing BYOD, organizations lose much of the control over the IT hardware and how it is used. It becomes a little bit trickier telling an employee what is or is not, an “acceptable use” of their own laptop or smartphone. It is important that IT support is aware of what they can and cannot provide employees using the BYOD policy. With 89% of employees using mobile devices for work regardless if the company has a BYOD policy or not, creates a huge security hazard. Organizations should lay out minimum security requirements, or even mandate company-sanctioned security tools as a condition for allowing personal devices to connect to company data and network resources.

There is also issues of compliance and ownership when it comes to data. Businesses that fall under compliance mandates such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, or GLBA have certain requirements related to information security and safeguarding specific data. Those rules still must be followed even if the data is on a laptop owned by an employee. Since this is a personal device, employees are going to have personal items and therefore there needs to be a storage back-up plan. This way if an employee leaves or is terminated for any reason, you are able to wipe out devices and rid them of company information. Be specific with your BYOD policy, and remember this is to make things easier in the workplace. Use these two tips below as a guideline to create your own policies and procedures.

  • Assume employees will use personal devices on the corporate network even if they are told not to. 50% of employees use personal devices to take confidential data out of companies every day.
  • Assume employees value convenience more than security. If your policies are inconvenient, employees will work around them.

If employees are already putting your company at risk, why not put the policy in place and help protect your company? Always be sure to keep your employees updated with changes to your BYOD policy!