The pros and cons of BYOD
An introduction to BYOD security
BYOD, otherwise known as ‘bring your own device’, is a policy whereby employees are permitted to complete work from their own personal mobiles, laptops or tablets. Statista revealed in a 2018 study that 45% of UK companies had implemented a BYOD policy, and recent years have seen this method of working gradually becoming the norm. There are benefits to this, however, it’s just as important to recognise the potential security risks that could occur as a result. With our pros and cons of BYOD, we aim to eliminate the risk of cyber threat to organisations, allowing you to get a clearer idea of whether this policy could be right for your business.
Pro: A happy, productive office
BYOD has been proven to be a productivity booster, with an ITProPortal survey showing that an employee using their own device worked for an extra two hours and sent an extra 20 emails each day. This could be due to using a piece of technology you’re comfortable with, without wasting time figuring out a new device. Employees are more likely to feel engaged when they’re completely in control of their own resources, customising their technology to best suit their preferences. VMWare’s statistics support this, in finding that 61% of people in their “New Way of Work Study” said they were happier in their jobs when using personal devices for work.
Pro: Cost-effective model
Cisco reported that companies with a BYOD policy save an average of $350 per year, supporting the belief that this model is a cost-effective option. This could largely be due to the fact that businesses don’t need to provide new device training, and employees are responsible for sourcing their own working materials. Particularly when considering the effect on smaller start-ups, they can instead focus their expenditure on staff upskilling and growing their organisation, without needing to worry about supplying a new laptop to individuals. Not to mention, employees are more likely to take greater care of their personal devices, eradicating the cost of repair that businesses are often responsible for.
Another pro to BYOD is the increased flexibility that this method supports. Employees will have full control over their device type, choosing one that best supports their work, and it becomes easier to communicate out of hours. An individual will, most likely, always have their mobile phone on them at all times, allowing them to work from anywhere without having to carry a bulky laptop. Staff prefer this element of control by being able to choose their own setup, which again contributes to a happier workforce.
Con: Stolen devices
In London, a whopping 183 smartphones are stolen every day, reminding us that you can never be too careful. This is a stat to strongly consider when implementing a BYOD policy, as not only will an individual be distraught that they’ve lost a personal item, there is also the possibility of highly sensitive work data being stolen. In order to protect your business from a cyber attack, staff should be equipped with the knowledge on how to create a secure password, preventing the possibility of a data hack. If someone does happen to lose their personal device, or suspect that it may be stolen, it must be reported straight away to reduce the potentially disastrous impact.
Con: Increased risk of device infection
For employees that provide family members with access to their personal devices when at home, the risk of device infection automatically increases. Young children could accidentally hit a link that leads to a dangerous download, heightening the chance of cyber attack without you even knowing it. If you are looking to introduce a BYOD policy to your business, staff should be reminded to be extra careful with how they are using their devices, noting any apps that have caused harm. When accessing the internet, it should also be communicated that staff should never attempt to access public wireless hotspots or unsecured networks to prevent BYOD security risks.
Con: Mobile management
If a member of staff leaves your company, what will they still have access to? Will they still be able to see and potentially leak sensitive company information? For businesses that enable the BYOD policy, it will be your responsibility to remove this risk. In this case, passwords should always be reset, and in the instance that a security breach occurs, there should be relevant systems in place that can track the culprit. Speed is of the utmost importance, so the authorities should be contacted straight away if a cyber attack has been linked to a particular device.
Now that you have a clearer idea of BYOD, always remember to weigh up the positives and negatives before implementing the policy. For more advice on how to make your workplace as safe as possible, get in touch with our team of professionals today. We can put together a plan that ensures your protection at all times, offering a wide range of products for long-term workplace security.