The security industry has trends like any other industry. A few years ago you could not look at an industry publication without seeing a story about BYOD policy. Recently, the number of stories have dwindled and have been replaced by new hot topics like ransomware and IoT.
But just because BYOD policy is no longer a hot topic, doesn’t mean it is not an issue; in fact, it has become a more challenging issue due to the IoT.
BYOD and IoT are closely related. Laptops and smartphones are no longer the only things you need to incorporate into your BYOD policy; now, you need to worry about the whole IoT—from watches to medical devices.
BYOD and IoT: The stats
You have likely seen many of the recent IoT statistics, but may have missed the latest BYOD statistics. Below is a mix of BYOD and IoT statistics from Tech Pro Research to illustrate how closely related the two topics are.
- 72% of organizations polled were permitting BYOD or planning to do so – compared to 62% in 2013.
- The active use of wearables has increased from 7% to 12% during the past year.
- BYOD is most common in the manufacturing and education sectors, and there are more small companies, with 50 or fewer employees, allowing it when compared to larger organizations.
- IoT devices are being used or implemented for use in 32% of respondent organizations and planned at another 35%.
- Surveillance equipment, RFID chips/tags and building controls were the three most common uses for IoT devices.
BYOD policy challenges in 2016 and beyond
As you can see above, organizations are recognizing that having a BYOD policy is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. Since it hasn’t been a trending topic lately, here are a few of the important things you need to know about BYOD policy in 2016 and beyond.
There is no denying it
If your company has miraculously kept personal mobile devices out of the office until now, that time is coming to an end. Many of the apps and programs your business needs to keep running are designed for smartphones. While establishing a BYOD policy and enforcing it is time consuming, mobile apps can increase employee productivity.
Not all devices are needed in the office
Your BYOD policy does not have to be inclusive of all devices. Laptops and smartphones are a must, but it is reasonable to ban smart watches and fitness technology—at least for the time being. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your BYOD policy. If you are reasonable with your policy and constantly communicate your reasoning, additions and updates, your employees will understand.
Think outside the cubicle
While many of us think about BYOD in terms of the traditional office setting, many companies are turning away from office buildings and cubicles. Plenty of companies are working out of co-working buildings and even more have employees who work from home. BYOD still applies. Devices are still connecting to your company data.
BYOD is not a trending topic right now, but it is certainly an issue we are all still challenged with. Share with us in the comment section below how your organization is dealing with demand the IoT is creating for a better BYOD policy.