The Risks and Benefits of Bring-Your-Own-Device Workplaces

More and more companies these days are letting employees use their personal devices for work. This trend is termed bring-your-own-device or BYOD. This can benefit both the company and the employee. Companies don’t have to spend as much money on computers, tablets, and phones if workers are bringing their own. And as workers are already acquainted with their devices, it can considerably improve productivity.

The Risks of BYOD

But the BYOD movement does have risks, risks that ComputerWorld columnist Darragh Delaney highlights in a recent column. Delaney writes that IT security personnel are growing more worried about the hazards of letting employees use their own devices to access workplace networks. The higher the volume of outside devices connecting into a network, the higher the risk that a network will fall victim to some sort of malware attack. After all, not all employees take the proper steps to defend their computing devices.

Company Information at Risk

Another aspect to consider when a company is deciding if you should allow employees to connect their devices to the network concerns information. When people leave the office, what information are they bringing out of the building with them? If they lose their device, sensitive data about the company could be in jeopardy. There are a couple answers to this. One, a company can establish limitations around which kind of information can be stored on personal devices. Another idea is that an organization could train their employees to better protect their devices.

The BYOD Trend

As increasing numbers of people have tablets and smartphones, chances are that more companies will face this decision. The greatest benefit to allowing employees to use personal devices is the boost in productivity. This is due mainly to the fact that they know their devices and they always have them. If BYOD seems like it will work for your company, just be sure your employees are taking appropriate measures with their devices to keep your company’s data protected.

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