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Are Mobile Devices in the Workplace Worth the Risks?

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With so many great mobile devices at your team’s disposal, it’d be a shame to not allow them to use their devices in the workplace. This trend, known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), has been taking the workplace by storm, and offers a great way to enhance productivity both in and out of the office. BYOD, while a great asset, should only be approached with caution, as the slightest oversight could expose sensitive information to the world.

The Security Risks
We’re talking, of course, about the security of data. Businesses that use mobile devices for work purposes will undoubtedly be taking their information on the road, which in itself presents several unique problems that need to be addressed. In order to effectively leverage your organization’s mobile devices for maximum productivity, be sure to address the primary issue that stems from BYOD: the control of data stored on mobile devices.

For example, let’s say that an employee stores sensitive client information on their personal mobile device. This device isn’t regulated or controlled by company policy, so what would happen if the device were to become corrupted or attacked by viruses or malware? The employee might have thought it a great idea to be even more productive outside of the office, but now, you have a data leakage disaster on your hands.

The most common way of addressing BYOD concerns over data leakage is integrating a mobile device management (MDM) solution. An MDM is often a software solution that helps businesses restrict what’s capable of accessing data stored on applicable devices. Apps can be restricted or allowed access to data depending on their uses.

The Benefits
Security risks shouldn’t be enough to dissuade you from taking full advantage of BYOD. By taking a careful and thought-out approach to BYOD, there are countless benefits that can be reaped. As reported by ITProPortal, here are three major benefits of BYOD for small businesses:

  • More productivity: Letting employees use their own devices for work allows them to be more productive, simply due to the fact that they’re more familiar with their own devices than those provided by the company. This also tends to improve morale, which can be a powerful motivator in itself. If employees are carrying around a productivity machine in their pockets, they might even be willing to work from home, too!
  • Cost-efficiency: Why bother spending money on mobile devices for your team, if they all have devices that they can use themselves? By allowing employees to bring their own devices, or at least pay a portion of the cost for desired services and devices, you’ll be lessening the amount of overall expenses that you’re spending on your company’s tech needs. This money can be better used on other initiatives, like projects that are designed to increase your profitability.
  • Consistent updates: Employees that manage and maintain their own devices are more likely to make sure their devices are up-to-date with the latest patches and updates. Doing so is important for the same reason that updating desktop software is important. It shores up device vulnerabilities in operating systems and applications, allowing for a more secure experience.

If you’re ready to take full advantage of mobile devices, reach out to Tektonic to discuss your specific mobile device policy needs. We’ll help you determine the best approach to BYOD. To learn more, give us a call at (416) 256-9928.

Date: January 25th, 2016, Author: Jorge Rojas

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