Approach BYOD with a realistic mindset

Companies are increasingly embracing bring your own device programs, but BYOD is also introducing new security risks into the business. As a result, having a clear plan for BYOD deployment that acknowledges the realities of the way users behave is essential for avoiding a data breach or other security incident. To smoothly manage a BYOD rollout, companies can benefit from working with a managed services provider and adopting sanctioned hosted collaboration solutions.

At the recent CITE Conference in San Francisco, Cisco executive Brett Belding and Sanofi executive Brian Katz explained that the security problem of BYOD is a simple one: No matter what restrictions are placed on them, users will find a way to access the services they want for cloud storage, collaboration and email on any device with a screen. They said that users are going to be drawn to the services they are familiar with, such as Evernote or Apple's iCloud, CITEworld reported.

Short-term benefits but long-term risk
Using ad hoc or consumer solutions to store and share data gives employees short-term benefits but can create long-term exposure risks, Alex Gorbansky, CEO of document management company Docurated, told Business News Daily. In many cases, employees are bypassing IT and adopting consumer solutions, which then can linger in the cloud without corporate knowledge after those employees have left. The solution to these management issues is for IT to provide sanctioned solutions.

"Employees need to work with IT to adopt a consumer-grade experience with enterprise-grade security," tech executive David Lavenda told Business News Daily. "Without IT buy-in, end users will continue to choose between engaging in risky file sharing behavior with consumer-centric alternatives, or taking a productivity hit through clunky legacy enterprise file sharing systems."

Working with a managed services provider, companies can craft a custom BYOD deployment plan that leverages sanctioned cloud storage and collaboration tools, avoiding the risk, inherent to BYOD, that employees will head off on their own and deploy risky consumer solutions. A third-party vendor experienced in BYOD strategy and cloud systems can help businesses of any size navigate this type of rollout and ensure employees buy into it. With guidance for employees, achieving BYOD success is more likely, Katz said, according to CITEWorld.

"Nobody follows a standard, but everybody follows a recommendation," he explained.

Heading into a BYOD deployment with a realistic mindset and an understanding of how employees will behave is essential, and a managed services partner can help.