BYOD, meaning, “bring your own device,” is catching on in businesses across the globe. Why? Because people are consuming miniature computers and hardware like never before. Smartphones and wearable technology such as Google Glass and smartwatches are bringing in a new generation of flashy hardware.
Businesses are allowing their employees to utilize the smartphones and other hardware they already carry with them into work. It saves corporate expenses, but is it really worth it? The security risks associated with programs like BYOD are in a world of their own. Think of all those spy movies where someone breaks into a server room or the CEO’s safe to steal corporate secrets. With BYOD, employees could be bringing the key to the safe home with them.
Scare tactics aside, BYOD could be a revolution for business technology. Forgot to send that important email before you left for the day? Some day you could do it from your watch while you’re stuck in rush hour traffic—and you might be using your own voice to tell it to do so.
The world of conferencing is already seeing the benefits of BYOD. Conferencing systems, including those by Cisco and Polycom, are deploying mobile apps (usually free to download) that can join conferences in-session. Smartphones with forward-facing cameras can enable face-to-face conversations, whereas not too long ago pagers and payphones were the only solution for remote conversations.
Another example of BYOD in the workplace is how it can be used to increase security. In our previous blog, we noted that Google was working on ways for employees to embed wearable hardware into clothing. These devices can act as security cards, accessing computers, doors and anything else that’s locked for security reasons. No more passwords!
How BYOD will truly play out in the workplace is yet to be determined, but even the government is taking advantage of it. The White House has its own toolkit available online that tells federal agencies how to proceed before implementing such as a program. Whether you’re a small business or the leader of the free world, BYOD has a lot of attractions, but do make sure to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” In other words, while BYOD is a bit of a utopian idea, have security well in place.