Ignorance is not bliss: Why you need a BYOD policy

Given the frequency with which it’s mentioned in the news, it’s not surprising that the practice of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) doesn’t seem to be going away. The surprise comes from how many businesses are still neglecting the implementation of a BYOD policy, or even worse, how many organizations that choose to downright ignore the presence of BYOD in their offices.

It’s similar to the strange noise your fridge started making – nothing seems to be seriously wrong yet, so maybe if you just wait it out it will fix itself. This flawed logic not only fails to address the issue, it runs the risk of making the problem altogether worse. But as Steve Martino, VP of Information Security and acting CISO of Cisco said, “if a company doesn’t have a BYOD policy, it’s because they’re trying to pretend it isn’t happening in their organization.

While some businesses seem to believe that ignoring BYOD is the best strategy, with 81% of Americans using their personal mobile devices for work implementing a mobile strategy should be a reality.

Why is it important?

37% of employees who access work material on their mobile devices haven’t activated their auto lock feature. 35% of employees store their work email passwords on their mobile device. Just based on these two stats alone, it’s easy to see the potential security risks that unregulated BYOD practices can have on a business. But despite these obvious trouble points, 80% of BYOD activity is currently going unmanaged.

These stats make it easy to deduce that organizations may be intimidated by the thought of BYOD. How do you manage it? What exactly are you managing? Sometimes, there seems to be more questions than answers. Getting a handle on BYOD doesn’t have to be impossible. We’ve already shared some ideas on what to include in your BYOD policy and how to protect your mobile device.

It’s time to stop putting BYOD strategies and policies on the backburner. Take the time to implement guidelines that are applicable to your business, helping to mitigate the risk of you organization being involved in a security breach or data leak. Be proactive – your customers will thank you.

Does your organization have a BYOD policy? Let us know what it includes in the comment section below.

Comments 2

  • Alan LucazAugust 5, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Thanks Martha for the great article about meeting BYOD policy head–on rather than waiting and seeing. I would like to share a video that shows some similar research about BYOD security and implementation of policy (and pirates): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITP-02z02tI

  • MarthaAugust 6, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I’m happy to hear you liked the post, Alan. Thanks for sharing that video – it was full of great information, and who doesn’t love a pirate theme? 🙂

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