BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device is a new-ish workforce trend. When employers support their employees to bring their own devices it can increase productivity. BYOD industry leader, Cisco conducted a study that found productivity increased for BYOD employees by an extra 37 minutes per week per employee. Navigating ones own device is easier and faster. Additionally, BYOD allows employees to be more mobile, and therefore flexible with their work.

GreenJobInterview has fully embraced the mobile device craze with features like mobile interviewing on a secure platform. We had to! 50% of the average global mobile web users now use mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of going online. The demand and benefits are undeniable, but companies have to find secure ways to incorporate mobile into their practices.

Despite the positives of a mobile, smartphone-equipped workforce, it can be scary for organizations to implement. After all, when employees use their personal devices for work, it increases the odds that a company’s sensitive data may be at risk. 51% of organizations experiences data loss from employee use of unsecure devices.

So you slap together BYOD policy, right? Well it’s not that simple. Organizations have to take into account security measures for an assortment of mobile devices. 59% of companies say that they have a BYOD policy in place, but it is estimated that about 20% of those policies are, or will be a failure due to over-restriction.

If BYOD sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, that may be a moot point. 79% of companies that don’t support their employees using personal devices for work purposes report that their employees use personal mobile devices anyhow. So it’s back to square-one; companies need a BYOD policy.

Given the projected failure rate of BYOD policies, it might be necessary to call in the big guns. Christy Wyatt, CE of Good Technology, works with container technology to protect secure work data on employees’ personal devices. She has a few expert tips on crafting successful BYOD policies.

1)  Denial is the first big mistake of most organizations.”

Wyatt tells us that many of the companies she works with simply assume that the security measures already in place will safeguard the organization’s intellectual property, regardless of the device used to access it. This will almost never be the case unless they have purchased software specifically for this purpose.

2) “Turning functionality off, a user will find a way to get what they need…”

Wyatt warns us against mistaking managing data with securing data. Limiting functionality will only make users go around whatever system is in place. She uses BlackBerry’s security model as an example. Their devices were extremely secure, but they weren’t functional. Users were able to use little more than email. In protecting assets, the first concern should be usability; otherwise the policy or program will fail. Wyatt said:

“Prevention can’t be just telling them not to do it or to put a net around it to catch them–companies need to be proactive and give employees the tools to get what they need done so they won’t feel the need to break out.”

3) “The company needs to make sure users really are aware of what they’re signing up for.” Every naughty pic and embarrassing search is discoverable, and employees who opt into a BYOD program should be fully aware of that. As millions of inappropriate Snapchatters found out, everything digital leaves a footprint. It doesn’t matter what accounts are personal and what accounts are professional. Wyatt said:

“Whether they are accepting a corporate device or whether they are installing corporate applications on a personal device, the company needs to be really clear on what employees are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do, and what the company is allowed to do and not allowed to do.”

As far as going beyond a policy, actual container software like the kind that Wyatt’s company offers, is a great way that companies can safeguard their intellectual property, while not restricting functionality for their workforce. We do this at GreenJobInterview by offering a secure platform that can be accessed from any iPhone, iPad or Android devices. It is important to give workers the tools they need to get the job done; the security part is up to the company.

Take a look at our main blog.

photo credit: AGmakonts via photopin cc

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Comment by Keith D. Halperin on March 17, 2014 at 1:48pm

Thanks, Julie. I've heard one way some companies avoid some of the security issues is through PYOD- "picjk your own device". Yu pick it, and the company buys it/makes it secure....



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