BYOD--look before you leap

Security breaches, unseen costs await firms that rush into BYOD

Businesses should carefully consider the risks as well as the benefits before moving ahead with BYOD, advised Walt Grudi, president of Grudi Associates.

"There are real concerns in a variety of areas from security and indirect costs to ownership and access rights that are making prudent business leaders take a careful look before leaping," Grudi said.

Grudi identified a number of challenges associated with BYOD, including unseen expenses, employee-use policies, data protection, regulatory compliance and human resources issues.

The unseen expense is a particular concern for IT professionals. According to a recent survey of 250 IT professionals, conducted by security vendor Lieberman Software, two-thirds of respondents believe that BYOD increases costs, due to the added security risks and measures required to lessen those risks.

Almost half of respondents cited an employee device introducing a virus into the corporate network as their biggest BYOD concern; more than a quarter pointed the finger at employees losing a device. Employees stealing data was the biggest concern for 22 percent of respondents.

A Grudi Associates' white paper offers a number of questions for businesses to ask before they adopt BYOD:

  • How important is network and data security to your company?

  • Can your existing security systems accommodate BYOD?

  • Can your IT and administrative structure support BYOD?

  • Is your company culture right for BYOD?

  • Does your company have to deal with compliance and regulatory issues?

  • Have you considered all the indirect and hidden costs of converting to BYOD?

  • Do you want a subsidized or zero-contribution BYOD policy?

"Our best advice is that 'If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.' BYOD may be right for some, but the exaggerated cost savings, security concerns, compliance issues and other pitfalls are very real. Making an informed decision takes information and careful consideration," Grudi concluded.

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