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Friday, April 26, 2013

Benefits outweigh risks of BYOD when best practices are followed

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Businesses all around the world are coming to embrace the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. There is good reason for the surge of this tactic among a huge range and number of firms: With BYOD, a company can become more flexible and productive while improving employee satisfaction.

Yet despite these benefits, many organizations have yet to adopt BYOD strategies. By a significant margin, the most common reason cited by these firms to explain their resistance to this arrangement is security. Businesses worry that adopting BYOD will make it more likely that they will experience a data breach.

This is not a totally unreasonable fear. After all, it is unquestionably more difficult for organizations to exert tight IT controls over employees' personal mobile devices than company-issued ones. These firms essentially have determined that the increased value BYOD holds over company-issued mobile device strategies is undermined and ultimately overcome by the risk of data loss or exposure.

While it is undeniable that many firms have experienced problems with BYOD deployments, the reality is that this deployment strategy does not need to compromise data security. When companies follow best practices, the risk of a data incident arising becomes so low that there is no real question that BYOD is more of a value gain than liability.

So what are these best practices? For one thing, firms must invest and implement high-quality secure file sharing solutions which are specifically designed to meet the needs of BYOD environments.

Additionally, companies must take the time to thoroughly educate employees as to how they can utilize their devices without putting corporate data at risk, and clarify the risks of such behavior.

These steps can dramatically reduce the dangerous components of BYOD, optimizing the trend's value.