Should You Let Your Employees Use Personal Devices For Work?

The global coronavirus pandemic forced many business to quickly adopt BYOD, or “bring your own device” due to employees working from home. With almost all applications moving to the cloud these days, it’s no longer necessary to have a traditional network with laptops and PCs connected to an on-premise server. As a result of recent lock-down restrictions, 65% of organisations say they now allow personal devices to access systems and applications. However 41% of businesses have not expanded security for the remote workforce, with 50% citing improper equipment as the biggest challenge to doing so.

65% of businesses are now allowing personal devices to access systems and applications as a result of working from home during COVID-19 restrictions… however 41% have not expanded security for the remote workforce

The most concerning threats businesses are worried about are malware (72%) and unauthorised user access (59%). The application types organisations are most concerned about are

  • File Sharing (68%)
  • Web applications (47%)
  • Video conferencing (45%)

But is it a GOOD idea to give employees that freedom? Here are some pros and cons about employees using their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones whilst working from home.

The pros of BYOD

  • You save money because you no longer have to purchase new hardware – employees simply use device they already have. 
  • Your employees will be using devices they’re comfortable using, which often makes them more productive and less frustrated when working.
  • If the equipment malfunctions, the employee bears the responsibility and cost of repair. However, some employees may expect you to pay for this since they are using it for work purposes as well.

The cons of BYOD

  • What if that employees leaves? Since they own the device, they may have confidential information stored on it. How can you extract and/or erase that if you won’t have ownership of the device? Having robust BYOD policies in place is critical to protect your business data.
  • How do you ensure security? This is the biggest downside and needs to be carefully considered. 52% of users say they believe they can get away with riskier behavior when working from home. What happens when your salesperson’s six-year-old downloads a virus? What if your accounts-payable person encrypts their laptop with ransomware? What if they’re using their device to use file-sharing sites that are riddled with viruses? Have you checked the security on their home network is robust enoughfor business use?
  • If your business accepts credit card payments, you need to be compliant with the 12 regulations of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
  • How do ensure you remain GDPR compliant? – how can you ensure your business continues to operate in-line with data protection laws when staff are using their own devices?

Download our FREE guide on working from home securely here:

If you’re an IT manager (or you have one in your business), check out our video for IT managers on how to secure your network for remote working here: