Bring Your Own Device – Ban or a Boon?

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BYOD or Bring Your Own Device refers to the policy of allowing the employees of the organisation to bring their gadgets at the workplace. According to this policy, employees of the company are privileged to use their devices like mobile phones, laptops and tablets to access the information and application of the company. It is also known as IT consumerization. 

Significance of BYOD

BYOD is proving as highly significant in the business world. This policy has been reducing the cost and increasing the productivity of the company because it encourages the employees of the company to work on their devices access the corporate emails and text documents. Below are the discussed potential significances of BYOD to the business organisations. 

High satisfaction of the employees: Employees are more comfortable to have their devices with them, and they feel highly satisfied while working with their devices at the workplace. This satisfaction at the workplace keeps harmony among the employees of the company. Thus, BYOD has the potential to maintain the cheerful environment at the workplace. 

Productivity Enhancement: BYOD allows the employees to bring their devices at the workplace to access the corporate information and utilise them for the personal use. This would make the employees more comfortable at their workplace, and they can respond quick and better using their devices. In this way, BYOD is enhancing the productivity of the employees as well as the companies. 

Reduction in the overhead of IT staff: Implementation of BYOD in the companies make the employees more concerned about their devices. The employees are more responsible for the devices with the corporate information. In this way, it is reducing the overhead of IT staff of the companies with BYOD policy. 

Money saving: The implementation of BYOD in the companies is reducing the cost of the money. The companies are transferring their cost to the employees. Now the employees are spending their costs and expenses of their mobile devices to be used in the workplace. In this way, the companies are saving a lot with an implementation such a highly significant policy. 

Quick responsiveness: Due to the BYOD policy, the employees of the companies are more engaged with the work even outside their workplaces. The responsiveness of the employees towards their work has been enhanced. Now the employees are more available to respond the emails and to complete the other business tasks outside their workplaces. 

BYOD Threats

Along with the significance, BYOD can threaten IT security of the company if it is not fully understood and regulated. This policy of bringing your device could be proved as riskier than any other malware attack. According to the experts, it is important for a company to understand the perceived risks and weightage of the risks against the security posture of the company. There are some potential risks with BYOD. 

Jailbreaking: Jailbreaking is a risk to the IT security of the company. In jailbreaking, the limitations or restrictions designed by the device maker are eliminated. These restrictions are designed to improve the security of the devices. Jailbreaking is a tool which helps to automate the process very simply. In this way, the jailbreaking tool is a high risk to the security of the companies. Due to such kind of malicious actions of the employees, the companies are restricting the employees to bring their own devices to the workplace. 

Rooting:  Rooting is another risk to the IT security of the company. Rooting is also a tool which helps to automate the process simply. It provides the administrator level permissions to the device owner and enables him to install and run the malicious applications. In this way, the Rooting tool is a high risk to the security of the companies. Due to such kind of malicious actions of the employees, the companies are restricting the employees to bring their own devices to the workplace. 

Bypassing: Some organisations restrict the employees of the company to access the network of the company and to use the company resources. But there are some applications available in the market those can bypass the restrictions by providing tricks to the employees and allow them to access the corporate emails, contacts and calendar items on their own devices. In this way, Bypassing is a high risk to the security of the companies. Due to such kind of malicious actions of the employees, the companies are restricting the employees to bring their own devices to the workplace. 

Vulnerable software or Devices: As the companies do not have control on the security of the devices, it might be risky for the company to have employees with vulnerable devices in the corporate. Due to the vulnerable software in the devices, the corporate data can expose easily which would be highly risky for the companies. To overcome such kind of risks, there is the wide range of companies those are concerned about their security they restricted their employees never to bring the devices other that Apple manufacturer. 

Corporate Wireless Access Points: Sometimes the devices of the employee are configured to identify the open network or Wireless Access Points. This type of access to the open network put the devices on the man-in-the-middle attack and some other attacks. This would allow the attackers to snoop on their malicious activities. For the avoidance of such type of risks, the organisations can deploy VPN with Wireless Access Points to access the corporate resources. 

Unlock devices: Due to the unlock devices of the employee with the login of corporate email would be highly risky. In case, if the device goes to the wrong hands then it could give access to the corporate emails to the unauthorised persons. Under this malicious scenario, the data of the legitimate person could be wiped or reported lost. To mitigate such kind of risks, the employees are asked to put their devices in high security lock. Some of the organisations are restricted their employees to access the corporate emails on their devices. 

How to control BYOD threats

BYOD could be the boon for the business sector if they drive this policy with the complete awareness but a slight ignorance or neglection could become ban for them. There are some considerations designed to reduce the insider BYOD threats. 

Prepare a good policy: A good policy to deploy BYOD in the company can the help it to deploy standards for usage of personal devices of the employees at the workplace. In this policy, it is important to include that what devices can be used, which employee can use, what information can be accessed, under which conditions it can be used etc. This framework of using personal devices at the work place. 

Identification of responsibilities: Under the deployment of the policy, it is the responsibility of the companies to set the responsibilities of all the staff members. It needs to include that who will support the devices, what will be the support hours, in which way they will assist, who will be responsible for the updates and another type of administration. 

Awareness of employees: It is the responsibility of the company to educate the employees regarding the standards of the BYOD set by it. In this campaign, it is important to deliberate all type of risks and threats of BYOD and all the best practices to use the personal devices in the work place. 

Monitoring: It is the responsibility of the company to have a continuous look at the devices of the employees they are using in the workplace. This type of monitoring needs to involve the connections, data usages, operating systems and other elements of the user’s devices at the work place. This helps the company to get the details whether the devices of the employees are compromising with the security of the company or not. 

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