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Ask the Experts: Bring Your Own Device

Question: Should I be concerned my staff are using their personal phones and tablets to access work IT systems?

BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is a very hot topic because we are witnessing for the first time that consumer IT has outpaced the development of IT equipment at work. It is not just the device employees want to use at work but also the way IT has embraced social media which is how more and more people are gathering and sharing information.

Regardless of the size of your business there are a wide range of implications to consider covering security, compliance and HR amongst others. Some companies are even allowing employees to choose their own device.

But how do you secure company sensitive data when it is on a personal device? The short, but unhelpful answer is to block company data being accessed from personal devices. Then there is the issue of lost or stolen devices, and viruses becoming more common.

With such a choice of platforms covering Windows, Apple, Blackberry and Android it compounds the issue much further because it is not just one uniform platform that poses the risk.

So how do you solve it? There are a variety of Device Management “tools” that allows IT policies, content and privileges. You can segment your employee’s phone into two modes of operation; 1) Personal use and 2) Work.

For the employer it provides real time alerts of any policy breaches and can be centrally managed and controlled without invading the privacy of your employee’s personal data.

In developing an appropriate response, at one extreme, a high restrictive policy will not meet the demands of a workforce who are witnessing – and encouraging – a blurring of the boundaries between their work and personal devices. On the other hand, a free for all approach, in which employees have an unfettered opportunity to use any device of their choice in the workplace, is likely to place intolerable demands on the business in controlling costs and providing essential security and effective support.

You need to talk to people who understand both mobile and IT and can therefore easily recommend and implement a BYOD strategy that best supports your business.

For more advice contact Excalibur on 01793 438888

Excalibur IT & Communications for Business

Excalibur IT & Communications for Business

Offering an end to end business consultation that provides reliable advice and expertise in communications and technology.

Century Road, 3, Arclite House, Swindon , Wiltshire , SN5 5YN

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