BYOD – Is your Company Prepared to Manage the Risks?

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It is an unstoppable trend: Employees are bringing their own mobile devices (laptops, tablets and smart phones) to their workplace and using them for business purposes. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), also called bring your own technology, is making significant inroads in the business world with about 60% of employees already using their own technology at work.

This leads to the question: Is your company prepared to manage the risks introduced by the BYOD trend?

On the one hand you can say that a BYOD policy is not a good policy because it limits users and hurts productivity. One might argue that an employee should be allowed to use whatever device that helps him or her do the best job possible.

On the other hand you can’t ignore the risks involved: Especially a type of security breach can occur when an employee leaves the company and doesn’t have to give back the device so company applications and other data may still be present on his/her device. Furthermore it is important to consider damage liability issues. If an employee brings his/her personal device to work and it is physically damaged through no fault of his/her own, the question is if the company is responsible for repair or replacement.

“While that may be great for productivity, the influx of personal smartphones and tablets in the workplace can pose a significant risk to your companie’s security if you don’t have a strategy for dealing with these new threat vectors” said Reinhard von Hennigs, Managing Partner with the international law firm BridgehouseLaw in Charlotte, NC.

The point is that an effective BYOD policy must be comprehensive in protecting businesses and employees, but not so restrictive as to make BYOD practically useless. Getting it right is a complex and time consuming task, requiring collaboration across functions that may have conflicting views.

Author: Andreas Weitzell, Legal Trainee Charlotte Office

Best regards
und viele Grüße aus Charlotte
Reinhard von Hennigs