Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Personal Devices for Work

Aug 30, 2012 11:54:01Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Personal Devices for Work

These days, many businesses across a range of industries rely on mobile technology as an integral part of the company structure. While some companies supply devices to their employees for this purpose, many others rely on a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, in which workers use their own smartphones, tablets and other technology. According to Forbes, more than half of mobile devices being used in work settings were employee-owned by the end of 2011. This can be an effective cost-saving strategy for a company and offer other benefits, but it also presents a litany of issues when it comes to mobile security and internet privacy.

The news source indicates that BYOD means many employees are familiar with the devices they are using, which requires less support from IT departments. The connectivity of mobile devices also means you are more flexible and accessible, making it easier to integrate your work and personal lives. However, being too available can have a negative impact on your life. A second mobile number for work allows you to block calls at certain times, such as during dinner, so work will not interrupt important family moments and other activities.

So, it may seem as though being able to use your own devices is the way to go, but there are still problems and risks associated with this concept. A report by nCircle, a leading company in information risk and security performance management, found that while 85 percent of organizations enforce mobile security policies, only 68 percent of employees believe the enforcement is adequate.

"The surge in BYOD has IT departments scrambling to make sure their networks can accommodate these devices securely. IT departments are buckling down and deciding on policies that determine how these devices can be managed with an acceptable level of risk," said Lamar Bailey, Director of Security Research and Development for nCircle.

Forbes suggests a few tips for companies and individuals using personal devices for work to protect their mobile privacy in the event a phone is lost, stolen or hacked. The news source suggests that all devices should be password protected and equipped with the ability to be remotely wiped of all data should the device be stolen or misplaced. Even with this safeguard, it is important that employees avoid storing company information on their phones, and any information that does need to be kept on a device should be backed up regularly. When it comes to apps, Forbes recommends that individuals should not download anything that appears at all suspicious or originates from an untrustworthy site. If you are uncertain about a particular app, you should either forget about it, or check with the IT department before proceeding.