Individuals entering the workforce are increasingly tech-savvy, as it becomes the norm that digital technology has been integrated into people’s lives since early childhood. This means that business employees have a different grasp on connectivity, devices and how to incorporate this into their professional and personal lives. Businesses need to adapt to these changes in order to maintain a happy and empowered workforce, while using the new status quo as an opportunity to increase workplace efficiency.
The rise of BYOD
BYOD or “Bring your own devices” is an inevitable trend. It isn’t just the issue of personal versus business-use laptops – smartphones are the norm for many individuals of all ages, and so are tablets. This brings with it advantages and risks. Employees do not want to have to switch between corporate issued phones and computers and personal devices, and it is cheaper to allow staff to use their own technology as opposed to purchasing and issuing equipment. The benefits in terms of flexibility, mobility and responsiveness are obvious but so is the fact that letting staff members use their own devices for business use represents a significant risk to data security. Managing this risk is paramount.
What is the scope of the issue?
BYOD not only means that staff connect to a company network, and have potentially-sensitive business information being accessed from or downloaded to their phones, laptops and computers. Individuals often have their own cloud-bases profiles, which means that the lines between stored business and personal content can be blurred.
Take control from the beginning
An awareness of the issues, as well as a well thought out BYOD security policy can prevent serious consequences down the line. Assess how to protect confidential data from unauthorised personnel, what to do when someone leaves the business, how to deal with theft of a device and implement an Acceptable Use Policy that is clearly understood by all staff members. This document compiled by Ernest and Young provides information and guidance on how to manage this process.
Consider business hardware with robust security features
Being able to connect to the office multifunction copier remotely from a mobile device makes it convenient to print from or scan to a smartphone or tablet. However, select a copier that will prevent data leaks. Seartec recommends Sharp’s multifunction copiers, with their multi-layered security features including software which tracks and records use of devices on the network; password controlled access for user authentication that prevents access by unauthorised users; password-protected PDFs that are encrypted once scanned; and copier functions that can be programmed to require a PIN. The use of this office technology instantly ensures increased peace of mind.
Ultimately, with 7 out of 10 employees using their own devices (as surveyed in 2012), businesses need to adapt to the trend and turn it to their advantage.