Digital Transformation

Could a ‘bring your own device’ policy work for your business?

BYOD is becoming popular among firms whose staff work remotely.

Employers whose staff bring their own smart phone or other device to work might consider backing up files to an offsite location to negate the risk of a cyber attack on the firm.

Clive Taylor, director of Sesai Consulting Limited, explained that pressure has been building to let different business groups use devices that better support their specific ways of working.

"There is also frustration over the constraints imposed by an IL3 (impact level)-accredited network. So, the one size fits all approach that is supplied via the company’s infrastructure is being challenged and access is increasingly being provided to non-company devices," he commented.

While many companies do not have a problem with their employees using their own devices within the office, they may soon change their tune if a device is found to contain malware that could pose harm to business security.

"Security has to be re-thought for BYOD (bring your own device)," said Mr Taylor, who noted that there have been certain concerns raised by the trend.

"How much can the individual be trusted to manage the security of their own device? Will the device be encrypted to a sufficient standard? Will passwords be complex enough and changed regularly? Do they even have the skills to set up the device correctly in the first place? Will the company have to start offering support on these devices? Would this transfer risk back to the company?"

His comments came after the Financial Times reported that BYOD policies can result in significant savings for businesses, along with greater flexibility and better employee satisfaction.

The principle of BYOD makes sense if firms have employees working remotely, as they can use backup software to ensure staff have access to company documents and networks.

Citrix is one company that has implemented a BYOD programme, and IT vice-president Martin Kelly told the newspaper that a significant return of investment has already been recorded as a result.