4 Inherent Risks to BYOD Policies

BYOD, or bring your own device, is a trending response to many companies’ aging computer hardware.  Since working on such machines can be generally frustrating, many employees are turning to their own personal devices to get work done. While on the surface this seems like a win-win for everyone involved, both the businesses and employees run very different risks.

BYOD Employee Risks

  1. Non-reimbursable wear & tear

    You used your hard earned money to buy that beautiful piece of hardware and it rocks for everything you do personally, but a large chunk of our daily hours are spent working. Why give your company your stuff? They may not reimburse you if it breaks earlier than it should of under normal personal use.

  2. Data mixing & intellectual property

    Mixing your personal data with your companies data can become a sticky situation if there is ever trouble in paradise. As a general rule of thumb, work data and personal data should be kept completely separated to avoid any confidential company information from being stolen or lost during your personal time.

BYOD Business Risks

  1. Data & IP leakage

    One of your businesses greatest assets is its data and intellectual property. This can range from a exclusive customer list, to a database of vendors and pricing your company worked very hard to get. When a company allows employees to freely use their own devices, they can no longer enforce any data monitoring policies and greatly increase the risk that confidential information will be stolen by the employee or lost due to the employee’s computer becoming compromised.

  2. Virus & malware entry points

    Viruses and malware look for any possible way to infect another machine. Since a personal computer may not be 100% up-to-date, it can always run the risk of being compromised and inadvertently brought in the front door of your business. Once the compromised machine is connected to your internal network, many viruses are programmed to immediately start looking for other machines which can be infected. The cost of removal and cleansing the intrusion combined with the cost of potential data loss makes this the most important threat that a BYOD policy introduces.

Whether you believe the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa, the BYOD policies being adopted by companies should be approached extremely cautiously to avoid any unintended consequences. The cost of a workstation for an employee is vastly cheaper than the potential costs of loss.

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