Bring-your-own-device policies are becoming more common as companies realize the importance of remote database access and mobile business applications. With more employees utilizing smartphone and tablet platforms, the IT market is shifting its focus to providing mobile solutions optimized to work with company networks and security measures. BYOD can deliver many benefits for both businesses and employees, but what should companies do to make sure they are maximizing the efficiency and safety of their remote access practices?
Understanding the good and bad of BYOD
It is no secret that BYOD is on the rise, but IT departments need to know the ups and downs that come with embracing the mobile platform as a tool for data flow and productivity. Microsoft recently cited a Gartner study revealing that 88 percent of executives say their employees use personal computing technologies for business purposes in and out of the office. Fewer executives reported having company-specific BYOD technology, with 62 percent of survey respondents claiming they have adopted customized platforms or plan to in the near future.
While many companies are hopping on the BYOD bandwagon, Microsoft urged organizations to educate themselves and their employees on the potential pitfalls of these solutions.
"The BYOD trend offers numerous benefits to users, including reduced costs, and the ability for enterprise workers to work with their preferred technology," Don Morrison, Director of U.S. Anti-Piracy for Microsoft stated in the release. "That said, BYOD does blur the lines between enterprise and personal computing, and can create security risks for businesses and the workers, so it's important to have best practices in place."
The best practices for phones, PCs and tablets
Microsoft suggested that IT strategists focus on implementing well-established BYOD services from reputable providers as a first step in mitigating risk. Employees should also be extra cautious when lending their devices to others. Even if remote access requires a password, sensitive company information still might be left over on a hard drive.
Phones present the biggest IT security concerns for companies offering BYOD solutions, according to LifeHacker. The articled noted that Gartner found PC sales to have dropped in favor of tablets, while smartphones still reign supreme and sell more every year. Between the three devices, however, remote solutions are an industry force to be reckoned with, as they are predicted to sell a combined 268 million units in 2015.