byod in the workplace: mitigating the risks, reaping the rewards

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  • BYOD in the Workplace: Mitigating

    the Risks, Reaping the Rewards Contributed by Shane Avron on June 17, 2014 in Information Technology

    The data management firm SailPoint found in

    its 2013 Market Pulse survey that 82 percent

    of large companies (those with 5,000-plus

    employees) have some sort of bring your own

    device policy. Cisco reported in its 2012

    report, BYOD: A Global Perspective, that

    U.S., Asian and Latin American firms are the

    most receptive to BYOD policies, while

    Europe is more cautious about

    implementation. BYOD offers companies several obvious benefits, such as cost savings on

  • equipment and increased employee productivity. For businesses thinking about adopting a

    BYOD policy, security remains the primary concern.

    Confidential and Proprietary Information

    One of the top concerns IT departments have when administering BYOD policies is keeping

    company information safe. This is especially concerning when employees leave the company

    and still have emails, documents and other company information stored on their iPad,

    notebook or smartphone.

    The best way to handle this issue is to plan ahead. A written BYOD policy that details exactly

    what the company expects from employees is essential. It should clearly articulate, among

    other things, acceptable uses of data, limits of data use and a termination/leaving the

    company policy.

    One solution is to use a third-party enterprise mobility management service to balance the

    companys security interests with employees desire to use their own devices for work and

    personal use. BlackBerry offers a popular mobile device management platform, and there

    are others. Just make sure whichever solution you choose can be implemented across

    BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices.

  • International Issues

    Regulations as they pertain to BYOD administration vary between countries, which can

    present problems for multinational firms. Compliance issues are one of the main reasons

    companies operating in more than one country are slow to embrace a BYOD policy.

    Mayer Brown , a global provider of legal services, recommends getting all relevant

    stakeholdersincluding IT, HR, security, and compliance departmentsinvolved in

    drafting your BYOD policy. Companies should also consider which employees are allowed to

    participate in BYOD programs. Those who have been with the company for more than a year

    and hold positions with low turnover are good BYOD candidates.

    Remote Wiping

    Another solution being widely implemented is remote wiping. The hard drive of a former

    employees BYOD laptop, smartphone or tablet can be completely erased by an IT

    department without warning.

    Despite cloudy legal factors associated with this practice, 21 percent of companies surveyed

    by data security firm Acronis in 2013 said they utilize remote wiping. Lewis Maltby of the

  • National Workrights Institute told that complaints from former employees whose

    devices were wiped are on the rise.

    Though a written policy can provide employers some legal protection, remote wiping could

    potentially violate state computer trespassing laws. Make certain your legal advisors have

    looked over your BYOD policy before publication, especially if remote wiping is part of it.

    About Shane Avron

    Shane works in Internet advertising, and writes about advances on the social Web and more.

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