Digital Transformation

Bring your own device ‘requires special security measures’

The BYOD trend could potentially lead to businesses tackling more viruses.

If your firm is considering implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in order to save money on IT costs, it will need to think about the data protection and security issues involved.

Dominic Jones, managing director at Barton Technology, pointed out that if a company’s IT support provider is responsible for installing all the software required on a multiple of devices, "things will inevitably go wrong at some point".

"Making all of the necessary changes and, most importantly, making all of these portable devices communicate with each other is a Herculean labour," he commented.

Mr Jones pointed out that companies will have a hard time placing limitations on staff using their own devices outside of work time, such as stopping them from going on betting sites or installing a filter on their internet usage.

"How can you mitigate against friends and family members using the device while your employee is at home? To me, this all adds up to more viral potential than a doctor’s waiting room," he said.

Employees’ privacy should be another issue for firms to consider if they decide to install a BYOD procedure. Staff are unlikely to consent to IT managers taking their device and potentially having a look at their private documents and pictures while updating software, Mr Jones added.

However, there are definite upsides to the trend. For one, it allows employees to use the technology of their choice to carry out work-related tasks and so may increase productivity.

It also allows companies to save their budgets because employees bring their own computer and mobile devices to work.

Technology giant Cisco has had some success with its BYOD policy, with its staff now using 8,144 iPads and 20,581 iPhones they bought themselves.