Today, there are a lot of people who are working from home. Some people split their time between the office and their houses. Therefore, a lot of companies are allowing, or even encouraging, employees to bring their own devices.
Usually, this is shortened to a BYOD policy. A lot of companies are instituting this policy for the first time.
Therefore, it is important to think about a few of the risks and benefits involved. What are some of the factors companies need to think about when they are considering a BYOD policy? There are a few key points to keep in mind.
What does a BYOD policy mean?
BYOD stands for bring your own device. This means that companies are requesting employees to bring their own devices to work.
In the past, businesses would provide employees with a computer, a work phone, a printer, and numerous other devices they may need in order to do their jobs. Now, company culture is changing.
Decades ago, those people did not have cell phones or computers in their homes. Therefore, a lot of people were not technologically savvy.
Teaching people how to work a computer was a part of the onboarding process. Now, many people walk around with cell phones and computers in their homes.
Many people are more experience with certain devices, and will simply be more comfortable using their own equipment. As a result, some businesses are instituting a bring-your-own-device policy. What are some risks and benefits of such a move?
What are the security risks of a BYOD policy?
There are several security risks of instituting a BYOD policy. While businesses may be able to mitigate these risks, it is something they need to think about. A few security risks include:
- A Lack of Support: Some companies might not have the support teams required to support all devices. Some people are comfortable with Windows devices. Other people may be more comfortable with iOS devices. Some people might be more comfortable with Android devices while other people use Apple products. It will be difficult for a company to provide support for all of these devices. In some situations, this lack of support could create a security risk.
- Maintenance Issues: When companies provide their equipment to their employees, they are in control of the maintenance. When businesses encourage employees to bring their own devices, they are not necessarily in control of software and hardware updates. If employees do not get their software updated on time, this could create a serious security flaw. This could compromise the confidential information of employees, the company, and customers.
- Network Hazards: It is important for companies to protect their networks. With a lot of people working from home, companies do not necessarily have control over the networks people use at home. If employees are not diligent about network security, this could create a serious security risk.
All companies need to think about these security risks carefully if they are instituting a BYOD policy. If companies are aware of these security risks, they may be able to take steps to mitigate them.
What are the legal risks of a BYOD policy?
There are several legal risks of instituting a BYOD policy as well. These include:
- Exposed Data: If companies encourage people to bring their own devices, they are not going to have a choice when it comes to putting work information on personal devices. This could include the sensitive information of customers and business partners. If someone loses his or her phone or computer, this sensitive information could be exposed.
- Personal Online Habits: Many people hesitate to use a work computer for personal business; however, if people are bringing their own devices, personal and work devices are going to be one and the same. The online habits of employees may increase the company’s risk. If employees are browsing risky sites, this could increase the chances of downloading a virus that could expose the company to legal liability.
- Regulatory Requirements: Depending on the industry in which you operate, there could be certain regulatory requirements you have to follow. If people are bringing their own devices, they may not be diligent about adhering to these regulatory requirements. If personal devices are used for work operations, they are still considered work equipment. Companies need to stay on top of their employees to make sure the business is not exposed to legal liability.
These are a few potential regulatory and legal risks that companies need to think about if they institute a BYOD for small business policy.
What are the benefits of a BYOD policy?
At the same time, there are several advantages of BYOD. A few examples of BYOD business benefits include:
- More Convenient: A bring-your-own-device policy is more convenient for everyone involved. The company does not have to worry about sourcing and training employees to use work equipment. Employees will also be happy because they will be more familiar with the devices they are using.
- Reduced Costs: Of course, the company can save a significant amount of money if people bring their own devices. Companies do not have to worry about purchasing computers and phones for their employees. They also do not have to worry about paying employees during the training process, as they will already be familiar with their own devices.
- Increased Productivity: Employees are already familiar with the phones and computers they will be using. Therefore, they are going to be more productive at work. This allows the company to complete more projects, increase its revenue, and grow substantially.
- Improved Morale: People like to have control. This includes employees. If employees feel like they have control over the devices they use, their morale is going to improve. This can make it significantly easier for companies to attract top talent in the future.
- Improved Customer Service: Customers will also be happier because the employees will meet their needs faster. Employees do not have to worry about technological difficulties getting in the way of customer service. Happier customers mean more revenue.
These are just a few of the many benefits of instituting a bring-your-own-device policy. It is important for companies to weigh BYOD risks and rewards before they decide if it is right for them. That is where our team can assist you and your company.
Consider the Benefits and Drawbacks of a BYOD Policy: Call Fastech Solutions Today!
If you are thinking about instituting a bring-your-own-device policy for the first time, it is important to understand the BYOD risks and benefits that come with such a policy. That way, you can place your business in the best position possible to be successful. At Fastech Solutions, we would be honored to help you do exactly that.
We are a managed service provider based in Vancouver; however, we serve clients across the country. It would be our honor to help you as well. We have a tremendous amount of experience with technology services and security.
We would be happy to help you evaluate the risks and benefits of a BYOD policy for your business. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us today!