Are you able to access your computer network at work with your personal iPad? What about your personal iPhone or your laptop computer? This movement, known as bring-your-own-device or BYOD, is rising in the workplace. It makes sense: When companies encourage employees to bring their personal devices to the office, these same companies do not have to spend as much on desktop computers and other high-tech equipment. The move also is practical for workers. Employees are often more accustomed to their own devices. And if they bring their own laptops and tablets to work, they can more easily carry their files, email messages and important documents back and forth from home to work.
The Risks of BYOD
But the BYOD movement does come with risks, risks that ComputerWorld columnist Darragh Delaney illustrates in a recent column. Delaney writes that IT security personnel are growing more concerned about the hazards of letting employees use their own devices to access workplace networks. The higher the volume of outside devices connecting into a network, the higher the risk that a network will fall prey to some sort of malware attack. Not surprisingly, not all employees take the proper steps to protect their computing devices.
Company Information at Risk
At the same time, when employees load sensitive workplace data onto their mobile devices, companies face a wholly new set of concerns. What if employees lose their mobile devices? There’s no guarantee that private information won’t fall into the wrong hands. Delaney writes that companies must properly educate their employees on the way to use their mobile devices as safely as possible. Some companies may want to ban outside devices from their networks. That’s not entirely reasonable, though. Outside mobile devices help employees do more work more efficiently. Companies do not want to limit the production of employees by refusing them accessibility to the network with these devices.
The BYOD Trend
It is unlikely that the BYOD trend will fade, particularly as more and more individuals have tablets and smartphones. If companies want to take advantage of the benefits of allowing employees to connect their devices, the thing to shoot for then is more training around safely connecting and storing data on these devices.
Posted on: 10.12.12