Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), is rapidly becoming a common paradigm among American businesses. This tech provisioning strategy is particularly powerful for small and medium-sized businesses. By having employees use their own tablet computers or mobile phones for some business functions, management can save on money and resources. Even so, a BYOD approach to IT solutions does bring with it significant complexities to consider.
1. Devices used in more than one location
Compared to the beginning of 2011, there are now more than twice as many places in the United States where public Wi-Fi is available. At first glance this may seem to have little to do with secured business Wi-Fi networks. In fact, the explosion of hotspots must be an important consideration, for it is not only the company network itself that must be secured in a BYOD environment. Because employees may also be using their personal devices on open networks, they are more likely to be remotely hacked, thereby opening up a security vulnerability at the company offices.
2. Devices used with a larger circle of contacts
The growth of social media networking on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn has meant that an individual's circle of contacts on their personal device is huge compared to what was true just five years ago. Like the phenomenon of more networks, being in contact with more people represents inherent security vulnerability. As BYOD users begin to include ‘friends of friends’ in their contact circles, they increasingly expose posted information to those whom they do not know personally. With BYOD, business and personal lives may begin to overlap in ways that could make employee passwords more guessable.
Because of these complexities, any business considering a BYOD policy is advised to adopt a managed programs model so that staff highly skilled in working with mobile computing can properly secure all devices.