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As the mobile device market is booming, more employees are bringing in their own device to work (BYOD). Advantages to BYOD include a workforce that's mobile, increased employee satisfaction, and more; but using personal devices comes with risks, and business owners must consider these risks before allowing BYOD in their office.
Strong risk management means being prepared for the worst case scenarios. Here are five BYOD worst case scenarios that every adopter of BYOD will need to be prepared for.
Having the Device Lost or Stolen
How much danger would your business be in if an employee lost a smartphone with your company's sensitive information stored on it? Even a stolen contact list with your client's and employee's phone numbers can be a messy situation to clean up after. You may be legally obligated to notify everyone affected by the leak because you are responsible for putting their personal information at risk.
Do you think your employees are too smart to lose anything? Think again, even the best of us have brain farts and misplace things. According to a study by CompTIA, it's estimated that every day in the United States, 160,000 phones are lost or stolen, which accounts for half of all mobile security incidents. The cost of replacing phones, time and money spent on damage control, and actual money stolen from accounts linked to the phone adds up to $30 billion per year in the US alone.
The other half of mobile security incidents come from mobile malware. As mobile devices become more popular, hackers are targeting these devices with new malware. Two of the biggest mobile scams that employees fall for is downloading malware that captures authentication information for financial accounts, and unknowingly sending SMS messages to overly priced premium-rate numbers.
Dumb Social Media Posts
An employee with a smartphone has more opportunity to post their thoughts or feelings to social media. While the majority of employees can handle this power, all it takes is one dumb social media post to hurt your company. What if an employee reacts to a work argument by airing out their grievances on Facebook? Or what would happen if an employee unintentionally leaked company secrets about an important project? A company with strict Internet usage and social media policies will want shy away from BYOD.
Blurred Lines between Work and Personal
While it's great that your staff is now mobile and they can do work from anywhere, if they begin to feel like you are requesting them to do work outside of their contract, like bugging them at home to call or e-mail a client, then you may be hit with a lawsuit for unpaid overtime. Then there's the issue of what happens if you let an employee go, and your company's information is on their personal device. You can try to go into their phone and delete your company's data, but what happens if, in doing so, you accidently delete their personal information? A mistake like this can also result in a lawsuit.
Is BYOD Worth the Risk?
All of these risks can be managed by being intentional about mobile security and having policies in place that prevents or prepares your business for these worst case scenarios. Digital Seattle can help you enact strong mobile security solutions and smart BYOD policies that will help your business get the most out of BYOD. Call us at (206) 709-9556 to learn more.
When it comes down to it, you have to ask yourself if BYOD is worth the risk. Will your business see a return that warrants jumping through the necessary BYOD hoops? In a study by CompTIA, it was discovered that the top benefit businesses see with BYOD is employee satisfaction, and there is actual little increase in out-of-the office productivity, and little positive monetary effect. Maybe you value your employee's happiness enough to give BYOD a try, or maybe you can find a less risky way to improve employee satisfaction like implementing Hawaiian Shirt Day Fridays. Whatever your final decision is regarding BYOD, Digital Seattle is here to help.