Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies: What Small Businesses Need To Know

With the rise of technological innovation, it’s no secret that companies use technologies to boost the efficiency of their operations. This means that they purchase devices for their employees in hopes that they can assist their productivity, which results in company profitability.  

However, most entrepreneurs don’t know they’ll be responsible for maintaining those devices. They must repair devices because of broken screens, malfunctioning buttons, and charger issues. These instances can all be costly. The average phone screen repair costs depend on the model of the device, but they range from USD$145 to USD$347. This can be a big deal, especially for startup companies.  

Companies started adopting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to address this issue. This article provides a quick guide to everything a small business owner like you should know about it.   

What Is BYOD Policy?  

The BYOD policy allows workers to bring their devices to the workplace to access company information. They can access company data resources through their own devices like laptops or smartphones by connecting to a wireless network. Your team can also access the same data once they go home, allowing them to work on projects at night and on weekends. 

While you can still provide a partial or full mobile stipend for their employees’ devices, at least you won’t have to worry about repair costs with the BYOD policy.   

When implementing the BYOD policy, you should provide guidelines to ensure that using personal devices won’t compromise company data. The guidelines are an extension of information technology security policies focusing on securing business data from unauthorized use or disclosure.  

Benefits Of Implementing BYOD Policy 

If you implement the BYOD policy, you can boost the productivity of your employees. It’s more convenient because they don’t have to use multiple devices. With this positive experience, you may encourage them to stay within your organization, which can increase employee retention rates.  

Two confident and successful businessmen sitting in front of the glass windows of a modern office building using a digital tablet and cellphone

In addition, this is a more cost-efficient option for your company because you won’t have to pay for the repairs of your employees’ devices. In other words, if one of your team uses their own device and it breaks down, you won’t have to replace or repair it.  

Risks Of Adopting BYOD Policy  

Adopting the BYOD policy may be helpful, but it has its disadvantages. For instance, employees with access to company data on their devices may misuse the information or leak it into the public domain. This can result in serious legal issues for your company and negatively affect your reputation.  

Aside from that, these devices can be a target of hackers. Cybercriminals can steal sensitive information, such as client billing details, or share confidential business data. This may result in a loss in consumers and revenue for your small business.  

Tips For Integrating BYOD  

To make the BYOD policy beneficial for your small business, you must plan and set up a security infrastructure in place. This includes writing a policy for your employees to ensure they know what is expected of them regarding their devices. You may have a list of permitted devices that they can use to access the company data and ban apps that may cause security concerns.   

Additionally, you can educate employees on security controls by giving them parameters for password protection and two-factor authentication. They must also know the importance of reporting lost or stolen devices to you within 24 hours to help revoke access. Moreover, remind them not to share their device with anyone and leave it unattended for long periods.  

Similarly, if employees leave the company, they no longer have a reason to access business data. This is why you must clarify to your employees that if they ever retire or resign, you’ll erase company information from the device due to privacy reasons and security compliance. Doing so prevents the leak of confidential data and protects your company’s interests.  

Key Takeaway  

Even with the increasing popularity of mobile devices, some small businesses are still on the fence about whether they should let their employees use their own devices to access work-related documents.   

You must weigh down the pros and cons of adopting the BYOD policy. If you adopt this trend, you can boost your team’s productivity and eliminate repair or maintenance costs. On the other hand, implementing this policy may make your data prone to cyber threats that can damage the reputation of your small business.  

If you plan to adopt this policy, you must establish security control parameters that can revoke access to unauthorized users. In doing so, you can protect company data while making your employees comfortable using their devices.

June McGown