BYOD: The good, the bad and the uncertain

Bring your own device (BYOD) is a great way to increase worker satisfaction and convenience. However, organisations must ensure that they are protected as well as their employees. With the progression of data protection, businesses should stay informed on the benefits, risks and insurance implications associated with employees using their own devices for work purposes.

Benefits of BYOD include:

  • Save money by eliminating the need to buy each employee a device and equipment. Companies aren’t necessarily required to spend the time or money to provide repairs and support.
  • Increased productivity by employees using their own devices because they are familiar with the technology and layout.
  • The flexibility with personal smartphones, tablets and laptops means that employees work can be done from anywhere.
  • Increased engagement in the workplace and after hours. Employees are more likely to work outside of the office and their responsiveness is increased when they have the means to communicate outside of the office.

Risks of BYOD include:

  • Lost or stolen devices could lead to company data being misplaced. Valuable information could end up in the wrong hands, especially if devices aren’t secured with passwords.
  • If employees leave the business, you might not be able to wipe devices clean of information and passwords.
  • Lack of firewall or anti-virus software. Not regularly updating firewall or anti-virus software can create weak networks and holes in the system.
  • Unsecured networks (when employees access unsecured Wi-Fi connections) can provide hackers with easy access to company systems or networks.

With the changing landscape comes insurance concerns. The insurance industry has to develop coverages to protect companies against new risks associated with BYOD eg. who is responsible for compromised data? Understanding how the insurance will work and how the employer is affected will guide making a decision about whether or not to allow BYOD.

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