BYOD – Bring Your Own Disaster?

An increasing number of organizations are encouraging employees to bring and use their own devices to the workplace to access company data and systems. Companies recognize that employees are more comfortable, and therefore productive, using their personal devices rather than ones selected by the IT group. Also, personal devices are typically more cutting-edge, giving the employee the latest features that enable more work to get done faster.

From the perspective of increased productivity in the workplace, Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) just makes sense. However, each device connected to the network is a potential information leak if a BYOD policy (if one exists) is not properly managed and implemented. Each user is also a potential data leak when you consider that a user on a time crunch will most likely bypass security in order to meet the deadline. In addition, a recent Fortinet survey revealed that workers will ignore BYOD policies if they don’t agree with them.

As a result, BYOD is widely known as a matter of agility versus security: if workers are to accomplish more with their personal devices, information security must suffer. However, BYOD does not need to come with a cost. Companies must understand that a user may bypass the BYOD policy and use unauthorized tools because existing devices or technologies just don’t allow the worker to get the job done. In this case, the BYOD policy should change to accommodate these tools and technologies so that productivity is fostered. When a BYOD policy can evolve with technology, then the company can realize increased productivity and still maintain a strong security posture.

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