You may not have heard the term, but as a business owner and employer you’re almost certainly going to encounter BYOD sooner rather than later. You might already be dealing with BYOD without knowing it. It may even be causing you problems and putting your business at risk. All of this means it’s time you learned more about BYOD.
BYOD stands quite simply for Bring Your Own Device and it’s affecting more and more workplaces.
Many people today carry lots of technology around. They keep a laptop with them. They may have a tablet computer and a smart phone. They use these devices all day and every day. They want to keep in contact with the office, but they’re also surfing the internet and using the social web as well as sending messages and making calls.
It seems perfectly reasonable – at least in the eyes of the owners of these devices – that they should use their own equipment when they’re at work. It’s more convenient. They can access all their documents and data easily from one device as well as staying connected.
You might be tempted to agree, at least until you start thinking seriously about BYOD and the issues it raises for your business.
Imagine the situation. Someone plugs a laptop into your office IT system without realising that there are viruses lurking on that device’s hard disk. Before you know where you are, your entire IT system may be infected. Once an infection gets onto your servers it can be costly to remove.
You can’t rely on your employees knowing the state of their machines. They may not know that they’re carrying viruses around with them. Yet, they could cause problems for you unintentionally and without knowing what they’re doing.
How secure is your company’s data? How secure are your IT systems?
You may have firewalls. You may have rules about who can take files home and who can print off sensitive data. Yet, an employee with his or her own device plugged into your IT system could download all sorts of sensitive and confidential data without difficulty and, more importantly, without your knowledge.
Even if your employees are only downloading information that you are happy for them to use, they take their devices outside your office. Those devices could be stolen. They could be used by other people in your employee’s family and their friends. That means your business could be compromised without your being aware of what’s happening.
Worse things could happen, too.
An employee who has been using his or her own devices in your office leaves suddenly, or is sacked. What happens then?
What will the impact of this be on your business? If the departing employee packs up that laptop and walks out the door, your business’s most valuable information could be leaving at the same time, and maybe migrating to one of your competitors.
First of all, accept that you need to think seriously about this issue.
You will also need to make some decisions about how BYOD will operate in your organisation and communicate those decisions to your employees. After that, you will also have a responsibility for enforcing your BYOD policy.
As part of this process it’s important to think about how to protect your IT systems and your business’s data once BYOD becomes established.
Talk to us here at Westtek, before you make any decisions, because we know the best ways to tackle the introduction of BYOD.
Don’t let BYOD spell disaster for your business. Let us help you to make sure your IT systems are protected both from deliberate or inadvertent damage and misuse.
Contact us as soon as you start to think seriously about BYOD. You’ll gain in the long run, if you do.
Ring 020 3195 0555 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org