‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD), also known as ‘Bring Your Own Technology’ (BYOT), refers to a company policy that allows employees to bring their own personal devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets to their workplace to be used for work.
Reasons You Should Use VPN at Work if You Follow BYOD
The History of BYOD
The phenomenon came about in 2009 and has gradually gained popularity. In 2009, Intel noticed a growing trend in employees as they brought their own devices in the workplace. The management started encouraging their employees as they brought their laptops to connect to the company internet. This example was soon followed by other companies such as IBM, Citrix, and Unisys etc. It began being implemented the world over with adoption rates going higher in developing countries.
In most companies, it is important for employees to be connected and answerable to clients and employers even at odd hours and a lot of people now have their work email addresses configured to their mobile phones to access and reply to emails even at night or on weekends and holidays. The line between having a work device and a separate personal device is blurring and about 75% of workers in high-growth economies such as India, Russia, UAE, Malaysia, and Brazil and about 44% in developed economies are using their own devices in the workplace. A recent report revealed that 65% of employees in the American tech sector use VPN.
The Advantages of BYOD
There are many advantages of allowing employees to bring their own devices to work, and the obvious benefit is cost saving. The company that doesn’t have to supply a laptop or work phone to a new employee spends less. Another big benefit is that when an employee uses their own device, it increases their productivity level due to the familiarity with the device. The ease of navigation of the device results in higher efficiency. It allows them to carry just one device instead of one for work and another for home. Also, they can work from anywhere and at any time.
Security Concerns of BYOD
Allowing employees to bring their own devices to work comes with significant security concerns and vulnerabilities. If an employee loses their device or sells it without fully erasing the data, confidential company information could fall into the wrong hands.
For personal devices that double as work devices, what happens at home could compromise the security of company information. If a tablet or laptop is shared by a spouse or child, it takes just a few clicks of a button to share sensitive information.
Companies should also take into account malicious acts by disgruntled employees. A data breach could occur when an employee resigns and does not have to return the device to the company. He could be taking company information and valuable contacts with him.
Using a VPN to Secure data
Companies that allow employees to ‘BYOD’ must have strong security measures in place to prevent any data breaches. Having a ‘BYOD’ policy is important and it should be used along with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The best VPN service providers you can use at work are as follows.
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Making VPN Mandatory in Offices
As a standard practice, a VPN should be used to make sure that all communication with the company’s network or server is secure. A VPN encrypts data leaving your phone or computer so that even if the data is intercepted, no one will be able to read it. It is to be expected that employees will connect their devices to the internet at public locations (such as Wi-Fi that’s available in coffee shops, malls, airports etc.). These locations have millions of people connecting to the same device and you could be at risk of phishing, thus compromising your data.
It’s important for employers to have a policy for safe working practices. This policy should be followed by all employees of the organization. For example, if you have BYOD in your office, all your employees must have a VPN app on their phone and they must connect to it before they start browsing the internet.
The Internet is a huge digital jungle and no matter what precautions you take, your data is still at risk. In such a scenario, VPNs are like shields that are the best means of securing your connection. In a professional environment, a VPN enables you to log in securely from remote locations and can allow access to corporate data based on user identity and other factors.