Feb 11th, 2013
Few trends have had as much of an impact on the enterprise landscape as bring your own device (BYOD) policies. Unthinkable a few short years ago, BYOD has now become a common feature for companies in numerous industries around the world.
In a BYOD arrangement, employees are permitted to use their personal smartphones, tablets and laptops to perform work-related functions. This arrangement holds significant benefits for businesses and employees. However, there are also risks. To achieve a successful BYOD solution, it is critical for companies to prioritize both accessibility and security.
BYOD advantages and requirements
Of the numerous benefits companies can experience by adopting a BYOD policy, the most noteworthy is increased productivity. Most users greatly prefer to use their own devices to perform their jobs, rather than company-issued products. A BYOD policy allows employees to exercise this preference, and the result is not only improved worker morale, but also greater production. This is due to the fact that when workers can use their personal devices, they will be more likely to work while home or traveling outside the office.
The ability for workers to be productive in this capacity is dependent on easy access to corporate information, including documents and other files. If an employee cannot utilize this data via his or her personal device, the BYOD policy will fail to produce the desired results.
This is why information access is a critical component of any successful BYOD deployment. A lack of access will frustrate employees and undercut the productivity gains the policy is designed to achieve.
However, access is only one aspect of an effective BYOD policy. Another, equally important criteria is security.
Achieving BYOD security
As mentioned above, access is essential for BYOD. As availability increases, though, security risks also tend to grow. Making files accessible to authorized personnel may make it easier for unauthorized users to gain access, as well.
This is a major concern. If corporate information is not sufficiently protected, the company faces the risk of suffering a data breach. This can result in the loss of intellectual property, as well as the exposure of private client data, which can do tremendous damage to the firm's reputation. If a company cannot protect client information, individuals and organizations will inevitably begin to avoid that firm.
The loss of intellectual property can make it difficult for a company to remain competitive. If rivals learn about an organization's strategies and resources, they can leverage that knowledge to craft strategies aimed at undercutting and outcompeting the original firm.
So how can a company achieve effective BYOD without risking a data breach? By investing in the proper tools. Specifically, companies should consider utilizing secure file sharing solutions. With such resources in place, an organization can control where its data lives, keeping information on its own server, rather than a public cloud server. Additionally, firms using these tools have complete control over who does and does not have permission to access corporate resources.