Bring Your Own Device Vs Your Company Network
Do you know what's connected?
Technology has advanced over the past few years. Network administrators used to be able to control company PCs quite easily, but the proliferation of cheaper laptops, tablets and smartphones has made 'Bring Your Own Device' a real problem ...
All businesses need a thorough and effective Bring Your Own Device policy!
copyright: gustavofrazao / 123rf stock photo (licensee)
Let's face it, connecting to the Internet is now really convenient. Anyone can update Facebook, check email, read a news website, play games or even write a blog post anytime they like. But when network administrators have always enjoyed the ability to restrict what people can do on their company PC, many people want to continue their private conversations on their own devices during working hours.
""So is access to the Internet over WiFi now being seen as a right?"
There are so many coffee shops and retail outlets that offer free WiFi as an incentive for consumers to come and spend time in their stores. Even trains, planes and automobiles are becoming connected and younger employees probably don't even remember a time when WiFi didn't exist!
Once employees get to the office, they may be lucky enough to pick up a WiFi signal from a nearby pub or coffee shop, or have an unlimited data package from their mobile network, but what if they're out of range or their device has no coverage in your building?
They're going to want to hook up to your company network and businesses should be aware of the risks of this practice. There are a number of ways for you to handle the demand for BYOD by employees:
Don't install WiFi, effectively banning non-company devices completely (except laptops with Ethernet ports),
Allow non-company devices, but insist they have approved security software installed and patched are installed and up to date,
Put non-company devices on a segregated WiFi network.
The first option could cause some stress for your younger employees who may keep disappearing throughout the day to check their messages. The second option may be the cause of some privacy issues with network administrators wanting access to the device to check security and patches are up to date; but if the device is going to access your network, then you have a right to check, don't you?
The third option could cause the spread of malware between any connected devices, but as it's on a segregated WiFi network, is it really your problem? Your employees knew the risks when they asked to connect their devices at the office.
Richard Absalom, from Ovum, says that "BYOD will happen whether a company plans for it or not." He continues, "Trying to stand in the path of consumer mobility is likely to be a damaging and futile exercise for any business."
So businesses need to be aware of the benefits and understand the risks of BYOD, especially when employees are purchasing newer and more powerful laptops, tablets and smartphones than a company usually provides.
"There are always compromises to be made with Bring Your Own Device policies!"
Picaw can offer advice for any company thinking about allowing employees to bring their own devices to work. We have a very effective policy ourselves and it satisfies the needs of both our employees and the security of our business.
If you'd like to find out more, do call me on 0845 287 3622 or click here to send over an email enquiry and I'll see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
While working with Volvo in the late 70’s I realised the way forward in international component distribution was computing. I created a company distributing components for several international manufacturers using the 'new' computers of the day. I quickly realised we needed our own programs so started writing distribution software. I grew the company by developing the software until I eventually sold my shares 20 years later, but retaining the rights to the software. I continued developing the software and supplied it to several similar companies where the software is still used today.
During 1999, I was asked by a friend to develop a facility to video the live sea conditions on the south coast accessible on the internet. Working with a Linux software developer I created our first remote video application. The internet boom of 2000 allowed me to develop a commercial application forming the basis of our systems today.