BYOD, short for Bring Your Own Device, is a business practice that is not likely going away, especially with the increase in remote and hybrid workers. But that doesn’t mean businesses cannot and should not have some control over how employees use personal devices to do their jobs.
The practice of BYOD presents certain challenges to organizations. To understand the scope of the challenges – and ways to address and overcome them – we need to look closely at BYOD. In this article, we will:
It’s one thing to allow or even encourage employees to use personal devices on the job, but hundreds or thousands of employees using all kinds of mobile devices from different manufacturers running various operating system versions creates a BYOD mess, not a BYOD environment.
A BYOD environment is one in which the IT department:
The goal is to reduce incompatibilities and related support issues, enhance collaboration and information sharing among employees, and minimize security risks to the corporate IT environment.
Some organizations have switched to a new model – CYOD or Choose Your Own Device. With CYOD, the company presents a short list of pre-approved smart devices or platforms that employees can use to execute business transactions.
This doesn’t solve the problem, but standardizing on the Android or iOS operating system, for example, narrows an IT department’s support focus and the types of security issues they need to prepare for.
Other enterprises have turned to something called mobile device management, or MDM. Several on-premises or cloud-based software solutions are available that monitor mobile data traffic and allow corporate IT to remotely configure, manage, and even erase mobile devices connected to the network in the event of a breach or a lost device.
The primary concern regarding BYOD is network and data security, specifically concerning how users can unwittingly create vulnerabilities to cyberattacks and breaches. How does BYOD introduce these risks?
A BYOD allowance, or mobile device allowance, is a monthly stipend an employer will compensate workers for using their own mobile devices on the job. Usually ranging from $30 to $50 per month, it is intended to cover any business-related expenses of an employee’s service plan. It is less costly to the company than purchasing devices and footing the entire monthly bill and can be listed as an operating expense (OpEx).
BYOD environments come in all shapes and sizes.
And these only represent a few examples of BYOD environments.
Monitoring and and managing populations of BYOD users and devices is a challenge, if for nothing else than the sheer variety of devices. Here are some ideas to simplify the management of your BYOD environment:
The simple fact is BYOD is here to stay, despite the rise of cybercrime and the various security and compliance risks inherent in using personal devices for business communications.
The good news is that companies can still support BYOD initiatives and allow their employees to conduct business using their personal devices with the right safeguards in place.