facebook social mediaNot long ago, workers were required to be dependent on a traditional brick and mortar building where they were often tethered to the company ethernet cable or a corded telephone. As mobile electronics have become more advanced as well as more affordable, however, the way workers access company data has begun to rapidly change. The use of iPads, iPhones, and other, similar mobile devices has become increasingly common, and is often a popular choice because it enables employees to work from virtually any location.

While many companies provide their employees with company-specific devices, some business owners are turning to Bring Your Own Device policies instead. A BYOD policy is often an attractive choice for the employer and the employee because typically saves the employer from having to purchase expensive equipment, and the employee is able to choose their preferred platform and specific device. Unfortunately, however, a BYOD policy may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

Potential Risks to Businesses

Increased productivity, happier employees, and lower overhead are just a few reasons that companies are becoming more accepting of BYOD policies. With these benefits come some significant risks, however.

Data Storage

Mobile devices now have the capability to connect to both public and private access points. It is very difficult for employees to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of company data as public access points and even private access points are susceptible to eavesdropping.

Additionally, many new devices are equipped with a substantial amount of memory that is often not encrypted on personal devices, as many users are not even aware of the need for encryption. The ability of confidential data on personal devices to get into the hands of competitors is alarmingly simple.

Fortunately, options are available to help companies protect themselves. To begin with, employers may wish to consider the use of a VPN to create a secure network with which employees can access data. An additional option, that can prove extremely helpful in the even that data is breached is Data Loss Prevention software. DLP is designed to alert the administrator when their data flows through an unrecognized channel Additionally,companies that are considering implementing a BYOD policy could benefit from creating a “terms and Conditions” policy that employees who use personal devices for company purposes are responsible for reading and signing.

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