March 16, 2016
To keep up in today’s connected world, BYOD is already reality for most organizations.
According to a recent study* of 851 U.S. office workers, most employees own at least one mobile device and use it daily to perform work-related tasks (everything from sending emails to taking notes during a call):
As a result, it’s becoming increasingly important to effectively manage this workplace dynamic – especially when it comes to security, costs and maintaining a balanced company culture.
How? In addition to choosing devices with features to balance personal and work information (see Best “Enterprise-Savvy” Smartphones for Business Users), managers must also implement or strengthen mobile device management for their organization.
It’s important to note that the vast majority of the employees surveyed are using their own personal devices for work-related purposes on a regular basis. Reasons for this trend include the need for an enhanced user experience (which tends to increase when the employee is free to choose his or her preferred device), loyalty or attachment to a certain brand of devices and platforms, and to avoid the hassle of using two different smartphones.
But whatever the reason, this trend has important implications for the workplace.
The integration of personal devices into the workplace brings a multitude of enterprise security concerns to the forefront. Namely, as network and IT teams grapple with enterprise security, the main issue is that company data is largely out of an IT team’s control when employees use personal devices.
That becomes a huge problem when paired with the knowledge that most security breaches happen due to negligence on behalf of employees, rather than as a direct result of cyberattacks by criminal hackers.
In other words, the biggest threat to a company’s cybersecurity is its employees’ failure to follow everything from basic enterprise security protocol (see 7 Mobile Security Mistakes to Stop Making in 2015) to more advanced methods of preventing data vulnerability (see Fortify Your Security in 6 Steps).
To combat this, experts say that businesses must strengthen their BYOD program by strongly spreading security awareness and best practices companywide (see the links above for some helpful tips).
It’s a well-known fact that well-implemented BYOD saves companies money. However, problems arise when BYOD programs fail to address security concerns and end up having to pay the price – literally.
According to a recent report, the cost of a security breach or loss of data could also cost more than deploying company-owned devices with built-in security measures. To be exact, the average cost of a data breach is $154 per record lost; for companies dealing in highly-sensitive data (such as healthcare companies – see More Hackers are Targeting Healthcare Providers), the average cost per record can be doubled.*
So while it may be tempting to adopt a BYOD policy to save money on providing devices for employees, it may actually end up being more cost-effective to issue company devices with features like remote wipe or automatic data backups, ensuring that a costly data breach can’t happen.
Though security is a huge issue for organizations – especially those with BYOD – IT professionals must also consider the user experience. For example, device usability and employee happiness become compromised if a company requires them to install security features that will ruin their user experience.
The solution? Enterprise-savvy devices.
Increased connection to our mobile devices comes at a cost. According to the worker study, 30 percent of employees feel that using a mobile device affects their work-life balance – a dynamic which can eventually affect productivity.
Organizations can offset this by encouraging a better work-life balance as part of their company culture. That means allowing employees to ignore professional emails, texts or calls outside of business hours.