One of the biggest concerns with taking the leap and implementing BYOD is the sheer number of devices that will be accessing your secure network. It’s simple math; the more devices there are accessing the same data, the higher the likelihood that you will get hacked through one of those devices.
Before you even start with any security program take a look at the devices themselves. How many devices will each person want to bring to the workplace with this newfound technological freedom? Today, it’s normal for each person to own a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop at home and it’s safe to assume that employees will bring three devices each in addition to their workstation in the office. That’s a lot of devices to secure.
So how do you handle this? You want your employees to enjoy using their devices but you need to discourage Shadow IT from the employees that just want to check their email at home. There are a few ways to handle this situation, one being choose-your-own-device (CYOD) and the other is giving your employees a technology upgrade where they won’t feel the need to bring so many devices.
According to a study by Citrix, “Employee choice has become a cornerstone of mainstream IT strategy. By allowing people to choose the best devices for their needs, organizations can improve productivity and flexibility as well as job satisfaction. During the first wave of consumerization, these initiatives focused on bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and policies. Choose-your-own-device (CYOD) soon followed, allowing users to choose a company-owned device from a small pool of company-issued devices to use for work purposes. While the nuances of BYOD and CYOD can vary, including their approach to cost sharing and compensation, they share most of the fundamental principles— including their security implications. Any time both personal and corporate content exists on a device, IT must ensure that effective policies and technologies are in place to protect business information— without impeding the experience or productivity of the user.”
CYOD is a variation of BYOD and can sometimes offer a business a bit more comfort when faced with the number of devices suddenly demanding access to the secure network. With CYOD, you create a list of devices for your employees to choose from allowing you to omit certain operating systems you think are more vulnerable or types of devices you would rather not have your employees using. CYOD differs from BYOD because the employees aren’t using their own devices, but they still get to choose a device that they are happy and familiar with.
Giving employees a technology upgrade in the form of a 2 in 1 tablet/laptop converter is also a good way to limit the number of devices each employee has. Desktop computers for people who don’t need the power that they provide are becoming a thing of the past in favor of laptops which, in turn, are evolving into touchscreen 2 in 1s. One of the more convenient setups for typical office life is having a laptop with a docking station and a monitor. The employee will be able to take the 2 in 1 laptop off the dock, fold it over or detach the keyboard and walk around to meetings. It will also be convenient to take the light laptop home and they won’t feel the need to use their personal computer for telecommuting.
Laptops like the Lenovo Yoga and Microsoft Surface work great for most employees, especially if your business uses cloud storage. They also work well for plant and warehouse workers who can easily take data on the tablet and bring the same device back to their desk without wasting any time or even having to load anything onto a desktop.
Not only are they convenient, 2 in 1s can limit the amount of devices an employee uses to access the network with from 4 to 2 and potentially decrease a cyber-attack by half.