Craig Boswell, HOBI International President, lead a webinar with APMG International about the benefits and challenges of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies this morning. The webinar, BYOD: D for Device or D for Disaster?, examined the benefits and challenges of BYOD in the workplace.

Overall mobile shipments reached 2.45 billion during 2016, with 207.1 million shipping in the U.S. alone. Growing mobile shipments are indicative of more users choosing smartphones as their primary computing device, instead of laptops and PC devices.

With growing mobile adoption, and brand loyalty to certain manufacturers and operating systems amongst users, BYOD policies are also increasing in popularity. Allowing employees to use their own device to store and process corporate information cuts down on a device learning curve and increases productivity, but also raises questions about data security and information ownership.

A recent study shows that 80 percent of devices in the enterprise are BYOD, but only one-third of the companies utilizing these devices have an active BYOD policy. This means while productivity may increase, enterprises may see setbacks in data security and potential legal obligations without a concrete BYOD policy.

A written BYOD policy decreases employee confusion when using their devices to access corporate information. Since BYOD policies are not one-size-fits-all, enterprises should take into account what legislation they operate under, what type of data employees will be accessing, and where they will be accessing that data. While there are many variables in a BYOD policy, Boswell’s core considerations include:

  • Acceptable use
  • Acceptable content and behavior
  • Mandatory password protection
  • Remote data erasure procedure
  • End-of-life policy

When writing a BYOD policy, corporate data security should always be the first priority. BYOD policies ensure employees are able to maintain high levels of productivity, but use secure and acceptable methods of accessing sensitive information.

“Accessing the corporate data is a privilege, not a right,” Boswell said. “WIth any privilege, there can be rules around that privilege.”