We know that allowing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has the potential to increase employees’ productivity and also keep the workforce happy as well as improve customer satisfaction and engagement with potential customers, but the whole concept of BYOD is clearly not without significant risks and managing a BYOD programme can bring its own set of problems too.
Recent surveys have indicated that more than 30% of UK employers have no policies in place to ensure that corporate data is protected when mobile access to information is allowed or available. Employees themselves are anxious about the information pertaining to themselves and their personal life which could be accessible by their fellow employees. The main concern is the loss or theft of a mobile device containing information which could be sensitive or which could put their personal finances at risk. This is an understandable fear given that over a quarter of people have at some time lost their mobile device.
This is why organisations need to consider MDM as a safeguarding technique; passcodes and encrypted information are vital as is, increasingly, the ability to shut down or isolate a device which has gone astray.
If your business is one which deals with the public in any way then it is even more important to consider your security measures with regards to BYOD. One lost iPhone could result in the personal details of your clients landing in the wrong hands and the ramifications of this both legally and in terms of reputation could be huge.
Many companies are currently reviewing which types of mobile device present the least risk and which are the most secure. The jury is still out on this matter but nevertheless millions of people are walking around every day with valuable information in their pockets and that information could potentially be accessible to a 3rd party via a few key strokes… and that is a situation that needs to change.
Without stalling the mobile device revolution, corporations need to take charge of this situation in order to protect the public, their clients, employees and their very businesses from the threat of information falling into unscrupulous hands.
Some experts will argue that the device is not the issue but rather the way that the data on the device is managed. Regardless, employees may have to accept that participating in BYOD brings some responsibility along with the convenience and that could mean accepting an employer’s right to completely wipe personal data on the device if it is lost or stolen and contains sensitive corporate data alongside personal information. So employees will need to ensure that they back up their own personal information so that in the event of a lost device, their company can wipe all data with no personal loss to the end user.
It is a give and take relationship which can work providing employers make their policies clear at the offset and employees take responsibility for their personal information held on a mobile device also used for work. MDM and BYOD are already part of life in the workplace for many people and as understanding on all sides increases, the end result can be a risk free and convenient solution for all.