You Can Have The Corporate Data, But Stay Away From My Spotify Playlists: The BYOD Balancing Act Between Security and Privacy
They’ve been called lazy, entitled, and plenty of other disparaging things; but in the world of mobile device management, they couldn’t be more important right now. Yup, I’m talking about the millennial generation.
This is the generation that was raised during the smartphone revolution, providing them with the ability to communicate with anyone from anywhere and access massive amounts of data on the go from a device no bigger than a deck of cards. So it should come as no great surprise that upon entering the workforce, millennials pushed for a way to apply the same practices enjoyed during their personal time to their work. This brings us to the ongoing IT headache of BYOD policies (Bring Your Own Device). BYOD provides employees with the ability to access corporate documents from their own personal devices, whether that be a tablet, laptop, or smartphone. Now, while BYOD policies often prove to be very beneficial in the workplace, improving productivity and increasing overall employee satisfaction, there are a number of security concerns.
With the ability to access corporate documents and emails from your own device, comes the trouble of ensuring their security without infringing on personal information. BYOD policies often require IT departments to implement mobile device management (MDM) solutions to protect these sensitive documents. With a majority of millennials hesitant to adopt Mobility Management solutions that would secure company data while simultaneously sacrificing user privacy, IT has found themselves in a bit of a pickle. According to a report at BitGlass, 57% of employees and 38% of IT professionals opted not to participate in BYOD programs because they didn’t want IT to have visibility into their personal data and applications. Privacy is a big deal for security administrators too, with 40% choosing not to participate in the same mobile device policies they were helping their companies enforce. A strong majority of employees – 67% – said that they wouldn’t mind the implementation of BYOD programs if their employers could protect corporate data without the ability to view, alter, or delete their personal information, data or applications.
Many IT professionals believe that there is a strong need to rethink mobile device security in order to better accommodate the millennial work style. The reality that corporate data can be viewed from any number of managed and un-managed devices needs be acknowledged if there is to be any progress in enterprise MDM. If anything, these complicated issues surrounding BYOD shouldn’t dissuade companies from adopting these policies at their offices. Instead, this tricky situation should be an indicator to developers of the changing nature of the market.
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