BlackBerry and Apple are credit with introducing the concept of bring your own devices (BYOD) in the workplace. Under the concept, organizations allow their employees to bring their own mobile devices and PCs to the workplace to use them in performing tasks related to their jobs. BYOD has benefited various companies. However, IT security poses the greatest challenge to the effectiveness of this concept. Improved productivity and innovation, cost saving, and high employee satisfaction are some of the major advantages of BYOD. Generally, employees are more comfortable when using their own devices in the workplace than when using company-provided devices. This improves their productivity and innovation. The concept enables employees to perform their duties regardless of wherever they are. They do not need to be at their desks to perform tasks related to their jobs. The concept of BYOD helps in improving employee satisfaction since employees are more satisfied when they use the devices they like instead of using devices that have been chosen for them by the IT department. As such, BYOD makes employers seem flexible and open-minded (Egan, 2013).
Despite the fact that BYOD is advantageous to an organization, it has several disadvantages which if not properly tackled may jeopardize the operations of an organization. ‘The Dark Side of BYOD’ and ‘BYOD as We Know It Is Dead’ are two articles that highlight some of the disadvantages of BYOD. The articles highlight the security risks associated with BYOD. Losing vital company data and impacts of malware and viruses are some of the major security risks that companies that use BYOD are exposed to (Koh, Oh & Im, 2014). Companies that use BYOD risk their sensitive data being sent over unsecured emails or devices. Synchronization of the devices with various cloud services would also increase the vulnerability of the company’s data. Sharing of devices and loss of the devices would also expose sensitive company’s data to security threats. An organization may use various security control and technologies to manage the risk that its data is exposed to (O’Hanley & Tiller, 2013). However, for these measures to be effective, an organization should have detailed BYOD policies.
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