FCW Consulting Times

Bring-Your-Own Device Takes off in the Workplace, but What Are the Risks?

Posted by: ~ August 10, 2012 ~ 0 comments

by Stephen Conroy, Cong IT

Are you able to access your computer network at work with your iPad? What about your iPhone or your laptop computer? This trend, known as bring-your-own-device or BYOD, is on the rise in the workplace. It makes sense: When companies encourage employees to bring their own devices to the office, these same companies don’t have to spend as much on desktop computers and other high-tech equipment.

The move also makes sense for workers. Employees will be more familiar with their own devices. And if they bring their own laptops and tablets to work, they can more easily transport their files, email messages and important documents back and forth from home to work.

The Risks of BYOD

But the BYOD movement does come with risks, risks that ComputerWorld columnist Darragh Delaney highlights in a recent column.

Delaney writes that IT security personnel are growing more concerned about the risks of letting employees use their own devices to access workplace networks. The greater the number of outside devices hooking into a network, the greater the risk that a network will fall victim to some sort of malware attack. After all, not all employees take the proper steps to protect their computing devices, especially when it comes to increasingly popular tablets.

Company Information at Risk

At the same time, when employees load sensitive workplace data onto their mobile devices, companies face an entirely new set of concerns. What if employees lose their mobile devices? There’s no guarantee that sensitive information won’t fall into the wrong hands.

Delaney writes that companies must properly educate their employees on how to use their mobile devices as safely as possible. Some companies might want to ban outside devices from their networks. That’s not entirely reasonable, though. Outside mobile devices help employees do more work more efficiently. Companies don’t want to limit the production of employees by refusing them access to the network with these devices.

The BYOD Trend

BYOD is a trend that isn’t going to fade away. Mobile devices are critical work tools for a growing number of employees. Companies, then, must make sure to educate these employees on how to safely connect them to the workplace network.

Read more on this topic at ComputerWorld