Lack of a stringent bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy can lead to the risk of a major security breach, according to IT services specialist ITC Infotech, especially with nearly half of companies having reported lost mobile handsets in the last year.
Security software vendor McAfee found that 15,000 mobile phones were reported lost on the London Underground in 2013. Only about 2,000 of those were eventually returned. Another 500 tablets and 500 laptops were also reported lost.
“Laptops, mobiles and tablets can cost many hundreds of pounds per year for each employee, so BYOD has become very attractive; however, far from enjoying flexibility and lower costs, companies that rush into BYOD without a strong policy face considerable risks,” said Hardeep Singh Garewal, president – European Operations, ITC Infotech.
Apart from security, companies also face risk of a different kind if they fail to set a clear boundary between the personal and business functions on a BYOD device. Many businesses erase personal information along with work data when wiping or locking a device for security.
ITC Infotech also found that businesses often fail to track “unofficial” BYOD devices that have remote access, creating further complications for lost devices or when employees leave the company.
The CYOD, choose your own device, option may not be as attractive cost-wise but ensures that full ownership of the device is retained by the company and eliminates any uncertainty in safeguarding information on the device, while still allowing for user freedom in choice and application.