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BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend spreading across workplaces

Experts urge caution, procedures and limits in allowing employees’ use of personal phones, other wireless devices for work.
by Paula Burkes Modified: April 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: April 20, 2014
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Crowe & Dunlevy attorney Daniel Johnson said healthcare and financial organizations face the greatest risk of liability when it comes to BYOD.

“But all companies,” he said, “need to learn how to balance the employee convenience with how to protect the inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information.”

Johnson recommends employers require employees upon hiring to sign a mobile device policy, including the agreement to give employers reasonable access. “Not only is there the risk of lost or stolen devices, but a disgruntled employee may leave the company with a device containing company information, and you need to be able to claw it back,” Johnson said.

His advice to employees concerned with their personal privacy of any photos, blogs or other information on their own devices: “Use employee-issued stuff for business.”

Meanwhile, Merrey also strongly recommends company policies, including the stipulation of which devices, applications and systems firms will support. “Support only one smart phone, for example, so you limit the amount of work your IT department — or IT person in the case of small companies — has to do,” he said.

“Eliminate thumb drive access to computers that hold sensitive data,” Merrey said, “and make sure all devices are protected with firewalls, encryption and passwords.”

by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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Going personal

Sixty-five percent of businesses worldwide allow employees to use their own mobile devices to access email and other organizational data. Forty-five percent report taking additional security measures, including installing the latest security fixes and patches, conducting security audits and training employees. Only 13 percent have specific policies regarding the use of personal mobile devices.

SOURCE: A February poll of 250 companies worldwide by Boston-based ITIC research and consulting firm and KnowBe4 security awareness training firm

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