Everyone’s got one, and they’re bringing them to work. The mobile device revolution is certainly not going anywhere anytime soon. Now it’s extremely easy to access social media logins, bank account information, order pizza, and make major life decisions at your fingertips. There are certainly advantages to your employees bringing their own devices to work (BYOD), but business owners need to be aware of the risks before allowing BYOD in the office. Here are five unexpected consequences of integrating a BYOD culture in your office.
Lost or Stolen Devices
Imagine this. You have an employee that you’ve entrusted with sensitive company data; bank account information, company contacts, social media logins, etc. That employee, who stores all of this information in their mobile device, comes to work one day and tells you that their device was stolen. Now you have no idea who has access to your information. This obviously would take a lot of cleanup. You may even be legally responsible and have to notify all of your contacts that their information is at risk.
No matter how much you trust your employees, they are still human, and humans lose things. About half of all mobile security issues are directly related to lost or stolen devices. CompTIA conducted a study and reported that in the United States, an estimated 160,000 mobile devices are misplaced or stolen every day. This number accounts for half of all mobile security issues. The cost of an issue like this is a bit overwhelming; $30 billion every year in the US. Between replacing the mobile devices, spending time and money on damage control, and the actual money stolen from bank accounts, you cannot afford to have one of these incidents at work.
Malware accounts for the other half of mobile security issues. Hackers are certainly targeting mobile devices because of how popular they are, and how much information they can access from them. Employees can easily and unknowingly download malware that steals financial account information as well as send spam text messages to the phone’s contacts. This is obviously an annoyance that you don’t want to have to deal with.
Harmful Social Media Habits
Posting to social media accounts has become increasingly easy with the use of mobile devices. Unfortunately, a lot of people have become accustomed to venting to their online audience before settling matters in person. A disgruntled employee who posts an unsettling statement on one of your business accounts can be costly for your business. What if an employee who is in the habit of spewing every action they take during the course of a day on Facebook, accidentally posts a company secret? Your business will want to consider these security cautions before allowing BYOD in your office.
Personal vs. Professional Boundaries
It may be great having your employees be mobile so that they can work from any location, but it may also be harmful and taxing to them. They may feel as though you are constantly contacting them on their time off to get in touch with clients and get projects done. They may even take it to an extreme and file a lawsuit to make up for unpaid overtime. Or what if an employee leaves the company with all of your information still on their device? You may be able to access their device and delete your company’s information, but be sure not to accidently get rid of their personal information; you could end up with another lawsuit.
Is It Really Worth It?
Of course, you can prevent all of these consequences by being forefront and intentional about your company’s mobile security. You’ll want to make sure you have guidelines in place for who has access to your company information, and when it is appropriate to use that information.
TMS can help guide you through the process of integrating a BYOD work environment with strong security policies that help you and your employees get the most out of it. Call us at 1 (626) 737-2960 for more information.
Before your company makes a move toward the use of mobile devices, you’ll have to ask yourself if BYOD is worth the potential risk that you’ll be getting yourself into. After all of this negative talk about BYOD, it’s easy to forget about the positives of this work system. CompTIA recently published a study that suggested that the top benefit of a BYOD integrated workplace was employee satisfaction. This goes a long way to actually increase the employee’s productivity while they’re out of the office, and even create a little more revenue for your company. You’ll have to decide if you esteem your employee’s satisfaction enough to integrate BYOD into your workplace, or if you could find a safer way to keep them happy. Either way, TMS is here to help with your BYOD decision.