The Risks of BYOD and The Alternative To It

February 20, 20202:45 pm778 views
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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is clearly not a new thing for businesses. Its popularity has soared due to the growing consumer electronics market which is dominated by smartphones and mobile devices. Mordor Intelligence report cited that the market value of BYOD was at USD 186.09 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 430.45 billion by 2025. 

The benefits of BYOD

This increased consumption of mobile devices results in a large potential customer base. Hence, organisation are adopting BYOD trends to retain employees, by providing benefits such as flexible timing, internet use, and mobile technology for private as well as professional use. Asia-Pacific region, in this regard, has observed a change in the attitude of employees to adopt the work-from-home culture, which has improved their efficiencies, leading Asia-Pacific to become an upcoming market for BYOD.  

Aaron French et al. said that BYOD benefits to overall organisations are great from improving work satisfaction to employee productivity. French’s study revealed that 80 percent of respondents reported an increase in productivity following the introduction of BYOD, and more than two-thirds of respondents attributed an increase in revenues to bring-your-own-device movement.

See also: How to Manage BYOD Expenses for Employees?

The risks of BYOD 

There are also various challenges when it comes to implementing this movement, however. According to French, implementing BYOD strategy should be accompanied with employee code of conduct in place and security plan to cut the chance of data breach from employee’s device. Nearly 60 percent of companies are vulnerable to BYOD risks, Frech said, due to underestimation of risks associated with content sharing. 

There are more risks of BYOD movement that many organisations are not aware of, such as follows: 

1. Physical and confidentiality risk 

The increase of BYOD has allowed employees to store data and company information into their own devices which increase the risk of phishing attacks due to a mislaid, lost, or stolen laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Ponemon survey revealed that phishing attacks account for 80 percent of businesses loss with £4,180/£9,470 annually due to data or assets breaches. 

2. Malware risk

You never know what your employees store in their own devices. Monitoring personal or restricting employees from using their own devices is not a good idea because it will disrupt employee’s privacy. As you have no control over what employees do with their personal device, there is a risk of malware spreading to your company system. Stephen Cooper at Comparitech cited that malware risk is as dangerous as phishing since it can breach important information, disrupt business operation, allow unauthorised access to system resources, slow other computers around the office, as well as result in frequent freezing and crashing.

The alternative to BYOD 

That being said, it is wiser to implement these alternatives. These alternatives, Cooper said, might help minimise and eliminate the risk of personal device usage for work-related matters.

  • POCE, referred to personally owned, company enabled device, is same as BYOD but it highlights a successful BYOD strategy. This alternative allows users to only access a company network through a certain portal made by an employer. 
  • COPE is an acronym of corporate-owned, personally enabled.  This alternative suggests employer give corporate’s device for employees for both personal and professional use. However, as the devices are owned by the employer, company has ultimate rights over it. Anything personal or information that might danger business bottom line can be erased by the employer, hence, this is safer than BYOD. 

Read also: Should HR Encourage Installation of Wellbeing Apps on Employee Devices?