BYOD in the workplace.

3 Big Risks of BYOD

Most modern companies are familiar with bring your own device policies (BYOD). They’ve been around for several years, and they offer plenty of benefits to employees and employers alike. The 2016 Cisco Annual Report found that 69% of IT decision makers were in favor of BYOD, viewing it as a positive addition to any workplace policy. One reason is that workers are saving at least 81 minutes of time per week by using their own devices.

The same report goes on to say that companies save an average of $350 per year per employee with a BYOD policy in place. Reactive programs can increase this savings to as much as $1,300 per year per employee, the study notes. But as good as that sounds, BYOD policies don’t guarantee a risk-free process.

Here are 3 big risks to look out for when implementing BYOD policies in your organization.

1. Loss of Devices

Sometimes, even the most careful people lose their stuff; it’s natural. But when the thing they lose is company property, multiple issues arise. Losing a device is a major pain for the company. For starters, the employee must go without the device for a certain period of time until they can get a replacement. That means less productivity and higher levels of stress.

Additionally, the loss of a device poses a big security risk. Every device comes with a basic form of protection (namely PINs, swipe codes, and fingerprint scans). However, no security measure is perfect. If the device ends up in the wrong hands, a dedicated hacker can eventually find a way to gain access to it and swipe as much data as they want.

2. Billing Issues

BYOD is largely paid for by the company. Sure, the device itself is supplied by the employee, but the necessary business software is purchased by the employer. Travel applications (such as Lyft and Uber) and other tools on the phone often require credit card information stored on the device itself. On first glance, that’s not a problem; after all, the credit card number is protected and can’t be viewed at will.

But… it also means that users can purchase apps and games that are unrelated to work. With a stored company credit card, employees can simply tap “purchase” and get what they want. It’s not always a malicious act – sometimes, employees don’t know any better. But with enough sporadic and irrelevant purchases, the problem can quickly become a major nuisance.

3. Untrained Users

Viruses are everywhere. Without proper training, employees are left with only their best judgment to avoid them. Downloading a malicious application can compromise the phone and leak sensitive company data to cyberattackers.

Device users must also undergo training regarding sharing devices. It may not seem like a big deal to hand a tablet or smartphone off to friends and family or even to leave your phone briefly in a restaurant before remembering and running back in to retrieve it. However, with only a few taps, a non-employee could access sensitive information or visit inappropriate sites. Of course, employers will only have one person to blame – the employee.

Eliminating BYOD Risks

How do can businesses fight against these risks? They can hire a managed service provider to provide mobile device management (MDM) services.

For device loss: With MDM, devices can be fitted with self-wiping software. A single click of a button from a remote computer and an employee’s lost device is cleared of all company data.

For billing issues: Many MDM services include specialized software that can selectively restrict in-app purchases. Employees can still purchase “approved” items they need to do their work, and can still purchase whatever else they want by paying for it themselves.

For untrained users: MDM policies can set device credentials to expire after a set amount of time. Extraneous users will have a much harder time gaining access with additional authentication safeguards. MDM services also have an answer for viruses and malicious applications – they come standard with protective antivirus software. They also allow businesses to create and modify lists of approved software, significantly reducing the risk of willingly downloading malicious applications.

MDM with DMS Technology

Partnering with us for mobile device management truly gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to fully utilize the power of all mobile devices, without the risk of any mismanagement and employee mishaps.
If you’re ready to implement BYOD in your company without any of the risks, contact us.