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Protecting your company in the age of BYOD

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By Rick Delgado, Contributor

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has been an interesting trend over the past few years. It’s been extremely beneficial for companies looking to provide a more seamless and synergistic experience for their workers. And while some companies have chosen to postpone the adoption of a proper BYOD policy, more and more employees are beginning to use personal devices to access company data and perform work functions regardless of company BYOD guidelines. Those businesses who have welcomed the BYOD trend with inclusive workplace policies have seen an improvement in data security and an increase in employee productivity.

Is it time for your company to put a BYOD policy in place? Here are a few major factors for each department to consider.

In the Legal department, preparing for potential fallout scenarios due to lost data or unintentional disclosure is certainly a priority that needs to be addressed. As you can see, 45 percent of employees have reported a stolen device that contained confidential enterprise data. It goes without saying that lost, stolen, or hacked data can create major problems in the wrong hands.

Another major legal issue is the risk of improper data management by employees themselves. While enterprise data may be considered safe in the hands of workers, improperly deleted information can result in serious legal repercussions. As mentioned in the infographic above, employees can be subject to stiff penalties for intentionally mismanaging or deleting data that is protected by a BYOD policy.

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Here are a few things to consider from a legal standpoint when creating BYOD protocols:

  • If an employee is *** or held liable for personal use of a phone or tablet while employed by your company, is the corporate BYOD contract agreement language strong enough to prevent a potential counter-suit?
  • Does your company’s BYOD policy cover breaches of corporate policy that occur off-site?

Similar concerns may exist for the HR department. Determining where the line will be drawn between personal use and company oversight is a key decision that can impact the ability to recruit new employees and retain existing ones. If your company is only just beginning to draw up a BYOD policy, consider inviting employee involvement. This can help jumpstart the BYOD on-boarding process and get employees more invested in and familiar with these new policies.

For the IT department, the ability to safeguard company data while implementing a new BYOD program is paramount. Among the most shocking numbers presented above are these: Only 21 percent of companies perform a remote wipe of an employee’s phone upon termination (or voluntary resignation,) and only 31 percent of organizations require a password on BYOD devices. This means that the vast majority of enterprises are leaving gaping security holes in their BYOD policies, holes which can lead to serious security leaks.

With the bevy of BYOD tools now available to corporate teams, implementing all-inclusive BYOD protocols is simpler than ever. Take the time necessary to get familiar with these options now and you could be saving yourself – and your company – a world of trouble later.

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