While Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy at the workplace has already been a growing concern over the past decade, now those concerns have become a part of almost every workplace. That is because, in a connected and extended workplace, as soon as you log in to the company systems or networks from your own laptop or PC, whether at the office or from home (WFH), the security issues are the same. You don’t need to carry your personal devices to the workplace physically. And now, in both BOYD and WFH, another layer of security concern has been added — that of managing the security of mobile devices.
The most common ways employees in a BOYD or WFH environment may contribute to a breach of security and business loss, mostly without their knowledge, include technical and non-technical issues. On the non-technical front, businesses may suffer significant loss of trust, especially in service businesses where the assurance of project confidentiality is essential for acquiring and retaining clients. On the technical front, BOYD or WFH policies can lead to security breaches from malware infection, data theft by hackers, poor data governance, and a lack of security awareness and training of employees. Furthermore, the loss or theft of personal devices with associated consequences is widespread.
With rapid technological development and the arrival of newer productivity tools in the market at regular intervals, a trend called Shadow IT has developed, where individual employees use productivity tools and services of their choice without the knowledge of the company’s IT department. This puts vast information in the hands of external agencies and service providers, which routinely collect subscriber and app data. Meanwhile, a research study titled ‘2021 Digital Workplace trends & insights’ by Beezy, an intelligent digital workplace and intranet solution, found that around 40% of employees were using communication or collaboration tools not approved by their employers. Such practices tend to increase the chances of cyberattacks on the company.As long as the company systems and individual employees’ personal devices interconnect for teamwork, collaborative initiatives, or group activities, the possibilities of data breaches and risks from malware or virus infections are very high. This becomes all the more critical in sensitive fields of work such as healthcare, retail, corporate banking, industrial engineering, digital operations, and high-end consulting services, where data integrity and system security are paramount. Some practical ways to battle these issues are to train employees on cybersecurity concerns, guide them on how to avert or pre-empt security breaches, and deploy a foolproof data security mechanism and protocols.