Jargon Watch: BYOD

8th May 2013

In the technology world we love jargon. So watch out for BYOD – Bring Your Own Device.

An increasing number of employees are choosing to use their own portable device – iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone – to access company email and data. Hooray we say! Business owners and IT departments are no longer responsible for supplying and administering these devices. But what happens if the device is lost or stolen? I think the key issues for business owners to think about are privacy and security.

Privacy – business owners need to consider the competing privacy rights of the employee, the business and the clients of the business. Is private client information located on the device? How about client contact details being synchronised locally?

Security – business owners need to think about data security issues. Is the intellectual property of the business exposed? Could a thief gain access to business systems? What types of company data are synchronised locally? Have you enabled security policies that will permit a “remote wipe” of the device.

Other issues to consider include responsibility for internet data charges, software licensing requirements and insurance.

So make sure you have a strategy that includes:

  1. A written BYOD policy that addresses these risks.
  2. Enable security policies on the device that permit remote wipe.
  3. User training on passwords, software patching and data synchronisation issues.
  4. A management plan that activates in the event of loss or theft.
  5. Carry out a remote wipe of the device.