BYOB? What about BYOD?
Generally, no company ever lets employees bring in their own beer, but what about their own devices? The IT field consistently debates whether or not an employee should be permitted to use their own personal devices or be mandated to those provided by their employers. In the scheme of things, security concerns battle the increased productivity and money saved, however, as the world becomes more tech-oriented, how will workplaces respond to BYOD?
First and foremost, BYOD policies create an annual cost savings opportunity for businesses. For small businesses struggling through recent times, saving any amount of money can greatly help the business’s mission. However, for larger corporations, the amount saved per employee might be just pocket change. It should be in the better interest of larger corporations to keep reminding themselves of additional security concerns that arise with BYOD policies.
Furthermore, BYOD policies increase the productivity rates of employees. Employee owned devices increase device and software familiarity, create a more comfortable work environment, and increase daily work production.
Additionally, as any security expert knows: increased convenience means decreased security. Rather than creating a standard system environment where vulnerabilities can be easily managed, companies are now susceptible to vulnerabilities, threats, and risks due to company processes as well as personal applications and software. Personally used applications could lead to major financial loss, stolen data, malware, ransomware, even reputational loss for the company. For instance, a large corporation saves $1,000 per employee between BYOD hardware and IT labor. However, a vulnerability within one of the employee’s devices presents a potential for $1,000,000 impact. Obviously, while $1,000 can make or break a local Mom-and-Pop shop, larger corporations should focus resources on improving security.
Companies and organizations should consider how much money they save and how much more productive employees are versus the potential security concerns and potential risks that those devices pose.
Is BYOD the New Normal?
In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of the world-wide workforce has resorted to remote work. The demand for personal devices such as laptops and desktops skyrocketed. Recent times completely changed the world’s perspective on how companies and organizations can be just as productive at home than the workplace. So what does this mean in terms of personal employee devices? Since there has already been a shift in perspective, many people already purchased devices to continue their work. Will the world keep with remote work or migrate back to offices when the pandemic passes? The cost-savings decision says to continue to utilize the devices purchased by employees and integrate them into a productive work environment. However, whether a company chooses to distribute standardized devices or use BYOD policies, security concerns should always be a top priority.
Companies might want to consider a bring your own device policy; however, they do not want to undertake the additional risks. To promote productivity and cost-savings while managing security, companies can implement policies such as:
- Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) – Employers present employees with limited options of devices to choose from. This allows for multiple standardized device configurations while giving employees the option to a device that best suits them.
- Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) – Companies provide employees with a standardized device; however, employers permit personal use on them. This way, employees can get a sense of comfortability, ownership, and familiarity with the device to increase productivity, while a standardized configuration of those devices allows for manageable and increased security.
Stay safe and secure!