How many people do you know that do not carry a mobile device? Probably none. With the ever-connected, always-on world we live in today, the lines between work and personal time is often blurred and the need to be connected is ever-present. Several years ago, when this trend began, both employees and employers saw benefits in allowing employees to bring their own personal devices into the work place. Employees no longer needed to carry multiple devices and employers saw potential financial benefits.
But today, seeing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) as a benefit is changing, and for good reason.
As a rule, consumers – a/k/a employees – often adapt to advances in technology more quickly than companies do, or can. As a result, companies, by default, adopt technology without fully appreciating the potential liability and risk associated with it. For many companies, this has been the case for BYOD.
Over the past couple of years, employers began navigating the technical and legal waters associated with a BYOD policy. What we’ve seen in the US, according to recent studies, is that the trend of adopting a BYOB is reversing, in favor of providing company-owned devices for employees to use. Companies are reconsidering because liability, supportability, and cyber-risk may very well outweigh the cost of purchasing devices for their staff members.
If you’re charged with making IT decisions for a company and are considering BYOD, there are a few things that should be carefully considered. Most importantly, do you have a formal policy – acknowledged by the employee – that details specifically how the device is to be used? Without a formal policy, companies will find that they are very limited on what they can and cannot do to employee-owned devices. Depending on the type of business, there may be compliance requirements related to the safeguarding of data, even if the device is owned by the employee.