Digital Transformation

Competitive advantages and security risks of BYOD

IT managers believe BYOD carries significant benefits, but there are also important security risks to consider

Businesses have been looking to make use of modern technology in every possible way as they attempt to improve on efficiency and cut costs, and research recently carried out by BT found that 80 per cent of IT managers believe companies that adopt the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend have an advantage over their rivals.

And with the figures also showing that 64 per cent of managers think that the BYOD strategy enables employees to be more productive, it seems that increasing numbers could be implementing the policy as a means to improve their prospects for growth.

"There is no denying it," said Neil Sutton, vice president of Global Portfolio at BT Global Services. "The BYOD genie is out of the bottle bringing with it unprecedented opportunities for enterprises."

Yet while there appears to be significant support for the scheme, the research found that only one in ten managers think all BYOD users are fully aware of the risks involved with accessing company networks on their own devices.

"The new perimeter is everywhere, defined by employee-owned devices, clouds, and extranets. The risk of abuse and attack has multiplied along with this massive expansion," Mr Sutton added.

With data protection being just as important for companies as the efficiency of their systems, it seems that finding a way to take advantage of BYOD while at the same time protecting their servers could be a good way to get ahead of competitors.

Indeed, given the risk that exposing sensitive information can pose to a business’s reputation and continuity, keeping confidential files safe when allowing BYOD could play a key role in any success that results from implementing the strategy.

Given the significant support among IT managers for having employees use their own devices, taking into account the security risks and backing up files in properly protected networks may enable companies to benefit from the growing trend.