Implenting a BYOD Policy into the Workplace

A Mobile Device Workplace History
Opportunistic workers have been engaging BYOD policies since the 1970’s when they began using their own personal computers in the workplace because it gave them the freedom to work rapidly rather than dealing with the corporate mainframe [1]. At the heart of the topic is the balance between individual freedoms for employees and enterprise security.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend challenging today's business involves many personnel that are using their mobile devices at work via a corporate network connection. This was first observed by Intel in 2009 when an increasing number of employees started bringing their devices (smart phones, tablets, and laptops) into the work environment [1].
This trend has made an impact on work habits and information security including the need for extensive MDM policies which is a source of pain for 18 percent of major enterprises. It's clear that there's a need for the development of products capable of addressing mobile device management cybersecurity given the rise in device usage from 46 percent in 2013 to 59 percent in 2014. (2)
Since BYOD trends began to scale upwards, employee devices have become more than personal particularly with mobile smartphones. These devices can be compared to designer fashion items that convey the essence of the individual — at least in his or her own mind. From C-Level executives on down, employees identify with the brand and their unique features. Even a virus scan can be considered by some as a major invasion of privacy.
Expect an increase, as smartwatches and the Google Glass headset (with its hands-free videos and picture capability) begin connecting to Wi-Fi networks. It will likely lead IT departments to ask, “Do we really need this is the workplace?”
Things to Consider when Instituting a BYOD Policy
There are a number of issues to consider when an organization begins to roll out a Bring Your Own Device program for its employees. Here are some top concerns to include in the criteria:
  •  How is employee access determined?
  •  Should a manager’s approval be necessary?
  • Should certain packages of data or particular programs be partitioned?
  • Are some devices permissible while others deemed unacceptable?
The Relationship Between BYOD & Cyber Insurance
Limitations in cyber insurance coverage policies on unencrypted laptops or mobile devices can lead to problems down the road, since over one-third of cyber security breaches occur because of these devices.
The same applies to wild virus exclusions which leaves the company with coverage only if an attack is targeted directly toward the entity. Over 90 percent of viruses are not targeted toward one specific entity [3].
One thing is for sure: your company should probably put a policy in place sooner than later!
References
 
Jacqueline von Ogden

Since 1999, Jacqueline has written for corporate communications, MarCom agencies, higher education, and worked within the pharmacy, steel and retail industries. Since joining the tech industry, she has found her "home".