March 27, 2017
BYOD Challenges and How to Overcome Them
The rapid growth in technology has seen an overshoot in the number of portable devices around the world. Such is the growth that IT departments are struggling to keep up with an escalating number of employees who want to access corporate data from their preferred devices. This trend is what has come to be known as BYOD or simply, Bring Your Own Device. This growing trend also encompasses Bring Your Own Technology or Bring Your Own PC. In other words, this scheme allows employees to work on their preferred devices such as computers, tablets or smartphones from their workplace in a bid to access company information and applications.
The results are increased productivity and reduced costs of doing things. Such benefits also come with employees having the luxury of working anytime, from anywhere and from any device. Slow down a bit in that on the downside, there are some risks and challenges to such a sweet trend! Well, this article dissects through some of the most common challenges you should be wary of coupled by the palatable solutions for them.
1. Security and privacy:
Different aspects of computer security should be looked into ranging from malware, viruses to hackers. When implementing BYOD, malware can be a great risk keeping in mind that users use their devices on different networks other than those in your company. A user could download malware and spread to the same to your network, a feat that could be a great threat to the company. To mitigate this, a company should set BYOD policies that will ensure that activities that are related to the company and/or those that required access the company’s network are subjected to minimum standards.
Security from hackers should also be looked into for example, in companies with mass access to the internet, hackers can use techniques such as keyboard hacking techniques where they record login credentials and use them to access the company’s data, making it easy for the malicious individuals to circumvent the company systems. A one-time temporary user login password should be given to prevent this. The problem is that most staff members tend to use easy to remember credentials that are easy to hack into making their devices vulnerable. This further reinforces the need for policies and procedures for employees and IT support staff pertaining acceptable BYOD rules and incident reporting.
2. Poor Handling of the Devices:
Many cases of security and data breaches result from losing or misplacing the device used to access the company data. Security breaches can happen in so many ways for example, if an employee loses the device they used at work, if the employee leaves the company and does not return the device or if the individual sells the device with the company applications and data in it. These are just a few examples of the many possible ways in which BYOD devices can create potential issues to a given organization.
Device management standards should be in place in the case of such events. For instance, remote data wiping and data recovery can be implemented so that the data on these devices can be remotely wiped and recovered as quickly as possible.
3. Scalability and capability:
There is a large amount of traffic will be generated when the employees in the company start using their devices. Many organizations lack proper network infrastructure to handle this large traffic and to give
the employees the performances of fast speeds of data communication. Most devices available nowadays will require wireless connections to access quickly and efficiently the internet. The organization has to look into providing a Wireless LAN infrastructure that will handle the high bandwidths of communication.
4. Network segmentation:
When setting BYOD policies in the organization, the matter of business and personal data has to be highlighted. The difference between allowance and permission on how to use the devices at work can be cumbersome. For instance, staff members will choose different devices to bring to work that may go against the company policies; these devices might have personal data that when connected to the company network can pose a threat to it.
The solution to this potential problem would be to create a separate network, from the main company network, for devices brought in by the staff. This will guarantee the company’s security and that of the data too. Limits have to be set on what a user can access and download from the network to the individual devices.
5. High Cost:
There may be cost implications when implementing BYOD in the company. Acquiring the best devices, integrating and supporting them can be very costly to handle. For example, mobile devices have huge varieties as well as different operating systems meaning that the cost of purchasing different devices and maintaining them may skyrocket.
These devices can also cost the company’s some of its clients especially if an employee are fired from the company-if the device used by the employee has a unique client data. Take for example an employee working in the sales department and is in contact with the company’s clients who calls to place orders. In the event that the individual is relieved of his/her duties and leaves with the device which has the phone number, clients can still call the number which by then may be owned by a potential competitor.
6. Device ownership:
When the device belongs to the employee, it is extremely difficult for the IT department to police it. On other hand, using company-owned devices makes it easier for the whole organization in determining what should and should not be done when the devices are in the employee’s hands. In addition, the IT department is able to ease security concerns by making it easier to protect and monitor de
The growth of BYOD is not expected to recess soon as more and more devices are developed in the future. In this regards, companies should expect to do more in a bid to make the trend well into their organizations. The key is to protect company data and it is anticipated that BYOD will create more and more challenges as the trend expands.
vices. All in all whichever BYOD strategy the organization chooses to use last it consider the happiness of the employees and the productivity it wants to achieve in the end.