The security risks of BYOD

There are many of us who have absolutely zero interest in using a slow and outdated PC at work. This sentiment has given rise to the concept of BYOD, or bring your own device to work. 

For the uninitiated, BYOD allows employees to use their own devices, including  smartphones, tablets and notebooks, to connect with corporate networks.  

Although permitting workers to use devices they own can help save a company money, analysts at Grudi Associates say businesses need to carefully weigh the benefits, risks and security concerns before adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work policy.   

“It is easy to understand why the BYOD concept would have a lot of appeal, but there is more to the story than is apparent on the surface,” explained Walt Grudi of Grudi Associates.

”There are real concerns in a variety of areas from security and indirect costs to ownership and access rights that are making prudent business leaders take a careful look before leaping.”

According to Grudi, businesses need to take a second look at BYOD, which may not be for everyone.

”There is an important difference between policies that permit employees to use their devices for work (while still supplying company-owned devices) and policies that require workers to exclusively use their own smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc,” he said. 

”We’ve found that BYOD-only policies, which are more extreme, can be much more difficult to address.”

Although employees are happier and work more using devices they like, without direct control of applications and usage on its network, a company cannot ensure the security of its data and systems. 

“Controlling data that resides on employee-owned devices is nearly impossible. Retrieving and extracting information from devices when an employee leaves can be very difficult… So our best advice is that ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.’ BYOD may be right for some, but the exaggerated cost savings, security concerns, compliance issues and other pitfalls are very real.”