The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement that has been spreading across the world over the last few years has left many business owners and managers confused. Many aren’t sure if BYOD will be right for their company and want to see actual results before they implement a company-wide program. With so many questions, many companies will not even consider taking the step.
They want to know:
- How will it help my company?
- Will this create more productive workers?
- What if the device is lost or stolen?
- What are the security risks?
While BYOD results vary between different companies and industries, the results have mainly been positive. The only negatives have been due to poor management, improper BYOD policies, failure to monitor BYOD usage and inadequate security solutions. In this article, we will answer all of these questions so that CIOs can be better informed in their decision of whether to implement a BYOD plan or not.
How will it help my company?
BYOD allows workers to perform company work remotely from their own device. If you have workers that travel frequently, workers that are part-time or workers that are out of the area, BYOD allows these workers to put in a full day’s work from wherever they may be. It also allows for after-hours work that can be completed much quicker than if an employee must commute to the company’s physical location.
BYOD helps in recruiting top employees as it gives you the freedom to choose workers that may not live in the exact vicinity where your company is located, giving you options on the employees you hire.
By giving workers the option to work remotely, you save time, and, as we all know, time is money. The quicker a job or project can be completed, the faster another can be started. It also reduces costs per project in terms of man-hours. Workers can start their day on time from their place of residence or other locations where they have access to secure internet.
Will this create more productive workers?
We covered this topic recently and found that the answer is an overwhelming “Yes.” Workers gain more comfort when they are allowed to use their own devices, and even their own services, to perform company work. This on its own does not mean that these workers will perform at a higher standard than normal workers, but with proper education on BYOD policies, proper monitoring and security implementations, a BYOD worker will work a much more efficient standard that normal.
What if the device is lost or stolen?
Depending on what industry the company is in, workers may use a variety of apps on their smartphone or tablet when they are working on a company project. If they need to create documents, they may use Google Drive. If they need to create quick notes or to-do lists, they may use Evernote. They may use Dropbox for fast file sharing. The company should have a cloud account for the user to work out of. All work that the user creates or modifies should be stored in the cloud account. This helps act as a backup in case the device is lost or stolen.
Other security measures should be implemented such as the ability to remotely wipe a device or render it inoperable. This can be performed as quickly as the employee learns that the device is missing. Also, in case of company litigation proceedings, a BYOD device can actually be seized as part of the investigation.
What are the security risks?
As long as proper security protocols are followed, BYOD can be used safely in a manner that protects company information and data, yet still allows employees the option to use their own devices to perform their everyday duties. The problems seem to arise because of human error. Poor management, weak authentication, ignoring or overlooking security protocols, inadequate BYOD policies and more can contribute to security breaches and data loss. While it’s true that cloud accounts offer protection against data loss if the device is lost or stolen, it doesn’t offer protection if the authentication to the cloud account is breached. This can be accomplished if someone steals an employee’s device and is able to access company authentication values that are saved on the device. A skilled attacker could even use the device to pretend he is that employee in order to gain access to company accounts.
Another problem can arise when employees are fired or disciplined. These employees could decide to act out of revenge and access the account and delete important data. Obviously the employee should have had their access revoked as quickly as possible but oversight can happen (remember that pesky human error problem we mentioned earlier?).
Other problems can arise if a worker accidentally deletes files. Many cloud accounts have backup for deleted files but they generally have a time limit. If the data is not discovered missing within 30 days (or whatever the time limit is for your specific cloud storage provider) the files will be unrecoverable.
How to keep your data secure
The solution to all of these problems is the backup and data protection services of cloudHQ. CloudHQ works by providing continuous backup from the company’s main cloud account to a backup account on a completely separate cloud service. The service is automated and runs in the background so that work can be performed without any obtrusion from the cloudHQ service. You back up whatever files and folders you want- it’s completely customizable. Work from different employees can be organized into subfolders for efficient searching and classification purposes. Although hopefully you will never need it, restoration is quick and simple. If an incident arises and data loss occurs, simply login to the backup account and restore within seconds. If files are deleted on the main account, there will always be a secondary copy of your data stored securely on a completely separate account. It’s better to be prepared than to be wishing you had been ready for an incident. Once data is lost and unrecoverable, it’s too late. Get the data protection you need for your BYOD program by signing up for the cloudHQ’s free trial now.