Businesses continue to struggle with the concept of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. To implement or not to implement is the ever present question. The answer to this tricky question can be found within your staff. Prior to implementation survey employees and management, this can be critical when the final decision is made. Policy adherence is more successful when everyone is involved in the final product.
Employees can complete work from home and away from the office. This increased flexibility is a significant boost to employee morale and happiness within the workplace. Your business may look at an “optional” program, which offers devices to employees who do not have advanced devices. Generally employees are also more comfortable with their own devices, making a BYOD a huge plus. Some firms are even reporting they save up to 50% on wireless because of their BYOD policy.
Sensitive company information and data can be leaked, and an unauthorized user can more easily gain access to your otherwise secure network. The ownership nature of the device can complicate the situation enough that your business may not be able to hold the employee liable for such a security breach. Additionally, the information can leave with the employee. If an employee leaves it may be difficult to clean the personal device, and your business could even be sued if you try. This creates a significant challenge to protecting your valuable information and data.
Develop a comprehensive BYOD Policy before allowing personal device use. Consult with your IT staff and attorney during the document creation. Be sure to include the following:
- Permitted uses of the devices, including a detailed explanation of what the device can access.
- Technical support an employee can expect to receive.
- Hardware/software requirements of the device. For example, a required virus protection software.
- Permission for your business to remotely wipe the employee-owned device used for business. This would include employees that are terminated and those resigning.
- Liability for breaches of employee security or security practices.
- Fiscal responsibility in the event of loss or damage, define the party responsible for the replacement repairs or purchase.
BYOD can provide a great opportunity for a business when it is planned for, offering numerous benefits for both the business and employees. At the same time, BYOD may not be for all businesses. Either way it is a good idea to define your company policy. The stance of no personal devices should be clearly communicated to all staff. An implied expectation can also come with liability.