The privacy and security concerns of BYOD

As more employees use their own mobile devices for work, experts offer tips to protect data

The growing BYOD trend doesn’t mean employees are bringing their own drinks to work, but it is giving their employers headaches. That’s because employee use of personal devices such as smartphones and iPads in the workplace, dubbed bring-your-own-device (BYOD), is raising privacy and security concerns.

Companies started flirting with the idea of employees selecting, purchasing and managing their own devices in 2010 as tech-savvy young employees became dissatisfied with the less-sophisticated devices their employers often provided, according to media reports. The trend took hold in 2011, as CIOs realized BYOD would increase employee retention and productivity, according to a 2011 survey by technology company Citrix Inc.

Security Safeguards

Many companies are requiring employees to install mobile device management [MDM] software on their personally owned devices, giving employers control over the device. In the event a device is lost or stolen, corporations may wipe all data from the device. Some MDMs use GPS to track the location of devices, which helps determine whether a device is lost rather than stolen before initiating a remote lock or wipe.

Michael Kozubek

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