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BYOD: Essential or a Security Nightmare?

10 Apr 2014
Megan Vinten

Bring your own device (BYOD) is not a new idea - people have been bringing their own devices to work for years now. Employees expect to be able to use their own devices in the work place and many see it as essential to allow for flexible working. 

Megan Heast EdinburghBut what's the real impact of BYOD on the business?

On the one hand allowing employees to bring their device into the working environment means that work can be done on the go, away from the desk, and even at home. In a world that is driven by electronic communication, across the globe and across time zones, working from home on your own device is a far more attractive option than staying in the office until the other side of the world wakes up!

Companies can save money, both on devices and training, if employees can use their own devices with which they are already familiar.

But the security conscious ones of you out there may have trouble adjusting to the idea that company and business data can be accessed anywhere at any time. How do you get around that? Well, according to a recent article in IT Elite magazine, it doesn’t really matter what you do – 51% of employees interviewed by a network security firm said that they would find a way around any policy banning the use of personal devices.

Having said that, it is of course not all doom and gloom. There are many options of software packages available, which can be adjusted to determine which apps or data can be accessed from a personal device. Other options include application level security, secure web browsers (where sensitive data can only be accessed through a company secured web browser), time fencing and signature based malware detection.

This issue is not isolated to tech companies, so what does this mean for your business?

Bring your own device

Eden Scott has been working extensively with universities and further education institutes across Scotland on the recruitment of IT employees. BYOD and the security issues surrounding this has been a hot topic of conversation within this sector. The nature of a university means that students and staff want and need access to a diverse range of information, and ideally in any location, on any device. The challenge is getting the balance between having a secure network and secure devices, whilst not being restrictive on what can be accessed.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you have similar issues to those found by IT staff in universities, or does this affect your industry in a different way?

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