BYOD — bring your own device — is the trend in which employees bring their own handheld technology to use at work. They use their hardware on sensitive company-owned databases, e-mail, file services and wireless networks.
The pro arguments: Companies save money by not having to buy the devices for their employees. Employees like it because they get to decide what apps to use at work, and they get to use their devices to check their personal e-mail and social media.
By 2016, the typical mobile-device owner will surf the Web six times and download 14 times more megabytes as they did in 2011, according to a March 2012 study.
Such a prediction means the BYOD trend helps raise serious questions:
1. Too much demand on a company’s wireless networks. Experts say such use by the additional handhelds threaten to place too much demand on wireless networks.
2. Privacy is in doubt at many companies. Many businesses have privacy challenges complying with the payment card industry (PCI) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Enforcing PCI and HIPAA policies are more difficult with devices not owned by the company.
Consider this alarming HIPAA topic: Lesson about Passwords after Theft of 16,000+ UCLA Patient Records.
3. Security of personal devices connected to your enterprise network is questionable. That’s why many information security professionals derisively refer to BYOD as “bring your own disaster.” Many companies are joining the BYOD trend, but they’re forgetting about security.
Such fears were confirmed in an Onforce poll: “Businesses Allow More Personal Tech But Overlook Security.” The poll featured the opinions of more than 500 IT professionals. More than 50 percent of respondents say there’s been a 25 percent increase in setting up personal handhelds. Just 31 percent say they’ve been asked to implement security for the handhelds.
Staying on top of the dynamic changes – new types of technology – creates overwhelming pressure on IT professionals. It’s a hardship on the techs in workloads and expenses. (See the Onforce-poll press release here.)
Further, Apple products are used most frequently as BYODs. But Apple devices aren’t nearly as secure as a myth indicates.
Given the massive cyber attacks on business, BYOD also creates unnecessary headaches.
From the Coach’s Corner, more security food for thought:
- Cyber Security: Is Your Business Prepared with Precautions and Response Philosophy?
- Identity Fraud Escalates in Smartphones, Social Media
- Internet Criminals to Pose Bigger Threat than Terrorists – FBI
- 5 Safety Measures to Thwart Mounting Social-Network Attacks
“When you link up to another computer, you’re linking up to every computer that that computer has ever linked up to.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.