Does your business need a BYOD policy?19 Feb 2014
BYOD (bring your own device) refers to the increasingly common practice of employees using personal devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones in the course of their employment, whether this be bringing personal devices into the office to work from, or using personal devices outside of the office to access work data.
Whilst some employees have a clear separation between work and home, with no access to work data outside of the office, many now have remote access to emails at the very least. Clearly this assists those who work from home on a regular basis or often find themselves needing to complete tasks outside ordinary working hours. Additionally, a business can save money by allowing employees to provide their own devices and some employees may be happier to be given an option in terms of what platform they work from.
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Whilst the ability to use external devices is beneficial to both employers and employees, it does present a set of potential problems which businesses need to ensure they are dealing with effectively. Therefore, business owners, if they have not done so already, should consider implementing a BYOD policy to govern and deal with the security and other issues which may arise.
As a starting point, employers should specify which devices they will allow to be used as part of the BYOD policy and what apps, programmes and other resources are approved. All businesses will have data that is sensitive and needs to remain secure, so it may be that a policy is required to make it clear to employees that certain data cannot be accessed on personal and mobile devices, depending on the consequences of this security being compromised. Additionally, employers should consider what happens if an employee’s device containing business data is lost or stolen; will the employee need to consent to their personal data being wiped along with business data if necessary?
These are just some of the issues that arise, and therefore business owners should seek specialist advice on how to implement a full and comprehensive policy.