Smartphones are as ubiquitous today as oxygen. People just cannot live without them. We don’t dare imagine a time when things could be done without constantly checking your cell phone.
A study conducted by Oxford Economics found that almost 80% of managers said that their workers wouldn’t be able to perform their jobs at 100% without them.
But the lines of professional work and personal work are blending into each other. Employees easily jump from their facebook page to the company cloud app and back. Managers and Coordinators rely on them to contact their workers during or even after working hours. Employees use them to keep up with their emails and other business or work-related applications.
The BYOD culture is here and it is a force to be reckoned with. The increasingly fast pace of advances in technology nowadays and the cost of making sure that employees have the latest, most secure devices for work, are two big hassles for businesses. So when employees try to bring their own devices to the workplace, it is a win-win situation for both the employees and the company. The company gets to save its expenses on technology and the employee gets to have just one device for everything. No more juggling multiple devices in your hands, trying to find out which one contains the document that you need.
The 2019 Information Management Benchmark Report says that:
• 61% of office workers used public, free, file-sharing apps that they had on their personal devices to access company information and share it.
• Even though, half of the companies surveyed discourage their workforce from using personal devices or ban cellphones and other devices in the office premises.
• 46% of organizations discourage or actively ban employees from using file-sharing apps.
But it doesn’t seem to be working, does it? There doesn’t seem to be an easy answer to this problem. On the one hand, the business risks losing important documents because of personal file-sharing apps. On the second hand, studies conducted by various institutes state that allowing employees to bring personal devices and letting them use those boosts their morale and helps them become more productive.
Well, as the trend suggests, the practice of BYOD is here to stay. There are pros and cons to this policy so companies that have allowed their workforce to bring their personal devices should be aware as to the high risks that accompany this practice.
Having a BYOD policy makes it easy to connect with the employees, whether they are in the office, in the area, in the city, state, country or somewhere else. But what if the employee is at the airport? What if he sends you an email or a file using an open, unsecured Wi-Fi network? What if hackers steal that data and use it against you?
What happens when your employees use their cellphones or other device to download a game or an infected file that has viruses or malware on it? All your private as well as confidential data is saved on the same device. Once those devices come into the organization’s network, we all know how much harm they can cause us.
It can be severe and beyond repair damage to a company if it was found that the company had a security breach and potential customers’ data has been leaked through an employee’s personal smartphone or device. The company will not only face a damaged reputation but also heavy financial loss due to lawsuits and local and federal penalties.
It could be a big inconvenience for the company if an employee loses a device or has it stolen from him. If the data wasn’t encrypted it could spell catastrophe for the company. Same with damaged smartphones that have to be sent for repairs.