BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device policies offer a plethora of opportunities and benefits to businesses at a surface level. Giving employees the ability to use just one device for work and personal use means that they remain contactable and able to do work wherever they are, and also means IT budgets that are already stretched to breaking point, are spent more wisely than on mobile phones and laptops for employees – who are likely to care more for devices that they have spent their own money on.
Also, in companies where BYOD is permitted, the increased flexibility means that employee satisfaction is higher, thus output is greater.
However, in spite of these multiple benefits, there are also some serious drawbacks, which means that BOYD has had to be adjusted to COYD (choose your own device) or COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) policies to help reduce these risks.
If employees are using their own devices, the amount of control the company has over information stored on it is limited. As a result of this, businesses must decide what information they should allow onto the device, limiting how useful it could really be.
These precautions are all in case of the event of theft or the device being hacked, which, if the device is not company-owned, is beyond their power.
What is COYD?
COYD, choose your own device, means that employees are given the choice of a number of company-approved devices upon which they can work. This means that sufficient security checks and updates can be carried out by the business’ IT department so that they have more control of the security of sensitive information.
However, it does mean that device choice for employees may be limited and they could potentially be unhappy with the device they must use and the restrictions that may be imposed upon it.
What is COPE?
COPE, corporate owned, personally enabled, policies also aim to give employees device flexibility without the risk that BOYD brings. Employees are allowed to choose whichever device they wish to use, providing they grant legal ownership of it and the sensitive information on the device.
Again, this may displease employees over concerns about personal information being monitored.
Regardless of the device policy a company enforces, security concerns can be reduced through the use of an MDM (mobile device management) provider. This software allows administrators to supervise the distribution of data across a range of devices. This increases the control companies have over sensitive information, even with BYOD policies, as they can tailor their policy to suit their security requirements.
Given the ever increasing need for flexibility within the workplace, it would be difficult to prevent employees from working out of the office.
As a result, it is vital that IT managers are aware of the different approaches they can take to device policies in order to prevent confidential or otherwise important information from falling into the wrong hands.
The final challenge is dealing with the destruction of data on these devices, from which ever policy is chosen, when they reach end of life.
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