Q:

What are the risks and benefits of Bring Your Own Device corporate policies?

A:

Quick Answer

The risks and benefits of BYOD corporate policies include issues related to acceptable device use, security, compliance, costs and worker satisfaction. It is important to have a formal BYOD program in place to avoid most of the risks associated with workers bringing their own devices.

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Full Answer

One of the risks associated with BYOD is that it may be difficult for companies to tell their employees what is considered acceptable use of personal devices such as laptops or smartphones. Company-issued devices are typically protected by company-issued security features and include an acceptable use policy. Having a clearly defined BYOD policy outlining expectations, rules of engagement, mandatory company-sanctioned security tools and minimum security requirements helps to alleviate this problem.

A second risk is that there may be issues with ownership and compliance related to data. Rules and compliance mandates such as HIPAA should be extended to employee-owned devices. Another risk is that it may be difficult to retrieve or segregate company data when a worker leaves the company. Companies can solve this problem by developing policies governing the retrieval of data from personal devices.

One major benefit of BYOD is reduced cost, as employees are expected to pay for most or all of the cost of data services, voice, hardware and other associated expenses. BYOD can also improve worker satisfaction because users can invest in smartphones and laptops that make them comfortable, which in turn can have a positive impact on motivation and output. Personal devices also tend to be cutting edge, meaning companies can enjoy the latest capabilities and features with little investment.

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