Many companies are allocating vast amounts of resources in an attempt to gain control over the new bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon. This is very frequently done at the expense of overall productivity and job satisfaction for employees. The increasing role of mobility in how we conduct business in the modern-age calls for flexibility in BYOD security.
The result of implementing stringent BYOD security policies can lead to frustration on the part of employees and vendors that rely on their mobile devices to keep them in the loop of developments as they move around. Let’s take a look at how excessive BYOD security can lead to frustration for both internal and external parties and, more importantly, can hamstring your organisation’s productivity and profitability.
Restricting access to your internal network
It is often the case, and justifiably so, that visitors to companies are denied access to an organisation’s internal WiFi due to the sensitivity of information residing on the internal network. Restricting visitors such as clients or vendors may create the necessary security, but with low-cost ADSL available today, organisations can make internet-only access available to those parties who frequently enter their premises. This allows them to access to their emails and resources that are available via remote connections. Simply barring access to your internal network without any means of connectivity will certainly frustrate frequent visitors.
The employee’s frustration
As a consumer-led phenomenon, BYOD means that employees do not necessarily appreciate the dictates of IT departments that are too limiting in terms of the kind of mobile devices allowed to connect to the company network. This can seriously hamper productivity, as people are accustomed to working with their choice of hardware. Your BYOD policy should have the flexibility that allows people to work with their tools of choice, while ensuring the security of the organisation’s network remains intact.
Barring employees from using their own devices can also have considerable cost implications for businesses, especially for small to medium businesses. When employees are paying for their own hardware and connectivity costs, the resulting financial savings can be significant. Granted, ensuring that every personal device toe’s the security line will require extra work for IT, but a well-balanced policy will strike the middle ground between cost and over allocation of resources.
The balance between too much and too little security
An overly stringent policy may result in staff resorting to rogue tactics in an effort to get their devices connected to your network. Formulating a policy that considers employees’ needs coupled with on-going education around the benefits – and very real dangers – of mobility will create the awareness in employees that will minimise reckless behaviour on their part.
Another option is allowing employees to use their own devices on a per needs basis only, which will reduce administrative overhead and security concerns. Bringing a measure of flexibility into your organisation’s BYOD security policy will benefit your organisation, but a too much control might have undesired consequences
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