Guest post: What is BYOD and does your small business need it?

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Today’s guest post comes from frequent contributor Nick Rojas:

What Is BYOD and Does Your Small Business Need It?

As technology steadily advances, the line between secure and insecure becomes thinner and thinner. Companies are at risk now more than ever for safeguarding their secure files and information from outside influence. Employees are unwittingly leaving their offices open to attack simply by carrying on normally at work.

According to Tech Pro Research revealed by ZDNet, over 74% of companies are already utilizing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). It’s easy to imagine why having the right BYOD policy could be imperative to a big business, but does your small business need to concern itself over it? Here we’ll break down the how and why it might be the right time to explore your company’s BYOD options.

BYOD

The Pros of Having a BYOD Policy for Your Small Business

Instead of supplying your employees with work laptops and phones, you essentially remove restrictions on them having their own devices on work premises. Practicing a BYOD policy opens you up to a number of advantages.

First of all, you don’t have to spend money on equipping each employee with new equipment. It’s also more efficient to let them work with devices they’re already accustomed to from their private time.

Since consumers are already motivated to keep current with technology to a certain degree, your employees will have more current devices than you could continuously supply. The added restriction of keeping separate devices can also negatively affect morale.

According to a BT Global Services study highlighted in Forbes, 42% of employees believed that using their own devices made them more efficient. Efficiency can make a huge difference in a company bottom line, especially when technology is involved.

BYOD Risks

The Cons of Allowing Your Employees to Have a BYOD Policy

At the end of the day, your employees are going to be viewing and editing company sensitive information on their own devices. When this happens, it opens you up to risks that would not exist in a more restrictive environment.

For instance, not everyone is as current with Anti-virus software at their home as some offices would like. Having one employee’s machine that doesn’t have the latest protection puts every other device on the network at risk.

Unsecured wi-fi is also another issue. Logging in from a coffee shop, airport or other public location provides an opening for hackers to gain access to your company files.

Overall, Tech Pro Research cited that 78% of businesses cited their reason for not allowing BYOD at the workplace was due to security concerns. Companies that deal with sensitive information will definitely be more hard pressed to keep that information secure.

Now that you have a better idea on which businesses benefit from BYOD practices you can make an informed decision on how to protect your small business. While BYOD can improve efficiency, lower costs, and improve employee morale, it does have negative security implications.

Finance companies in particular can find themselves dealing with sensitive information, making the choice a more involved process. Discovering the right plan of action regarding BYOD can be an important step in ensuring your business is operating efficiently from every standpoint. As technology usage increases, so too must your understanding of how it can change your business.

Guest author bio

Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto. @NickARojas

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