The ABCs of BYOD

Saturday, September 19, 2015 8:45 am, Posted by Absolute Destruction

Is the term ‘BYOD’ a familiar one in your workplace? If not, it could be soon, as BYOD practices are steadily growing in popularity across markets. Standing for ‘bring your own device’, the acronym describes the office policy that allows its employees to bring their own mobile devices (like laptops and cell phones) to and from work. While this practice has its advocates and its opponents in equal measure, there’s one thing everyone can agree upon. If your workplace employs the BYOD policy, then new security measures have to be enacted in order to protect company data.

There is good reason why this trend is growing so steadily. When employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work, job satisfaction and productivity skyrocket. People are more familiar with a personal device that they’ve tweaked and use around the clock, and they experience less hiccoughs than they would if they had to switch to a totally different, unfamiliar interface the company provided. The employer also saves on the cost of outfitting their staff with equipment. If everyone just brings their own, a business would only have to supply the particular software and avoid the price tag of hardware.  BYOD also increases the chances of a company’s workforce having the most up-to-date interfaces, as individual users are more likely to upgrade their device compared to a company that would need to pay for improvements to an entire fleet of devices.

Of course, like anything that sounds too good to be true, BYOD has its downsides. As productivity levels increase, so do the chances of data breaches. A mobile device strips the company of its regulatory powers. Unlike a machine contained by their office, a personal laptop can connect to any variety of public networks that could threaten company systems. An employee can also accidentally leave a phone (or computer) behind at restaurant. When nearly 30% of all users fail to employ simple automatic locking feature on their devices, a forgotten mobile (and the confidential information it stores) can be accessed by just about anyone with thumbs.

If, after weighing the pros and cons, your company still elects to allow BYOD, you need to create BYOD security measures. A BYOD committee should be created right away. The members of such a committee can create appropriate policy, including making mandatory data encryption and start-up passwords on all devices. In the case of communication, the committee can put limitations on client information allowed to be sent in emails. Employees from your IT and HR departments can ensure that these policies are known by the entirety of your staff.

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, your company needs to employ proper disposal methods once an employee resigns or decides to upgrade their device. Old devices used for company work can’t be thrown out or re-used, as this is just as much of a security risk as when an employee leaves their phone behind. Wiping hard drives is not enough to rid devices of the confidential material once stored on them. Only complete and utter destruction can keep your company safe.

So when you’re developing your BYOD committee, make sure to incorporate our commercial electronic data destruction services to your policies. Our mobile shredding trucks can arrive at your door and demolish any device, hard drive, or digital piece of media that you need gone. Just give us a call to set up a one-time or regularly scheduled appointment, and you’ll ensure your entry into the BYOD world is a success.

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