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Three Questions Small Tech Firm Owners Must Ask Themselves about BYOD

3 questions small tech firm owners must ask themselves about BYOD. Published: 12/4/2012

The surge of smartphones and other mobile devices being used in the workforce spurred 70 percent of participants in a recent Gartner survey to say their firm will deploy bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in the next year.

Leading researcher analyst at Gartner Dionisio Zumerle noted that switching from company mobile devices to a BYOD can bring big changes to how employees think and act about data security on their own mobile devices. Thus, small tech firms that are beginning to use BYOD have a number of security considerations to keep in mind when making the change.

Zumerle also stated that those tools and policies instituted up-front to help companies adapt to mobile technology with consumer-grade security should be revamped to cope with the fact that BYOD means devices are ultimately under the control of private users rather than their organizations.

Gartner recently published a list of a few potential issues companies may come about when transitioning to BYOD policies.

Will employees be able to choose their devices?

When small tech companies begin to use BYOD policies, owners must decide if they will allow their employees to select their device and operating system. While employees can benefit from using the device of their choice, these decisions could also create security concerns when using the device for work purposes. The available devices use several different security measures, which can make it difficult to ensure the safety of business-critical information. This makes it imperative for owners at small tech companies to invest in the protections provided by Cyber Liability Insurance policies.

What will happen to compromised devices?

Many employees who are part of BYOD policies consider the data on the device to be their own and would prefer that their respective companies don't have access to it. However, the sensitive data is also stored on their devices, which makes it the firm's problem when a device becomes compromised. Processing this information has led several employers who are enacting BYOD policies to reserve the right to "remote wipe" devices when they are lost, stolen or become compromised in any way. A remote wipe will clear the devices of everything on the phone.

Will devices be subject to MDM software?

One way businesses can make sure their employees are following protocol with their devices is to use mobile device management software. The solution can ensure each employee has the proper security measure, in addition to access to the cloud and other innovations the employer is using. These precautions are often a bother to employees who believe it is their right, and responsibility, to secure their devices.

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