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BYOD Galore: Is The Workspace Secure?


BYOD has diversified over the last few years. It isn’t just about bringing to work a laptop or cell phone anymore, the story has gotten bigger and better for most part. Watches, glasses, belts and a whole lot more has hit the market offering to do things that no other watch, glasses or belt has done before. And of course if your employees are into gadgets they will eventually find their way to one of these things – and the likelihood is that you have no protocol set in place to control or contain the side effects that come with the use of such devices.

(Not) All Bad News

IDTechEx estimates that by 2024 the wearables market will expand to over $70 billion. That means that digital products in the shape of everyday tools, clothes, gadgets etc. are here to stay for the long haul.  For companies this presents an interesting opportunity cost. Wearables could potentially help the business find data on how its employees are working as well. Who’s more productive, who’s more efficient, and does that guy really deserve to be employee of the month? A wearable could tell you all that. The cost would be the firm’s security.

The Apple Watch is just the beginning, earlier we even heard news of a prototype selfie drone that could be worn on the wrist and fly out for the perfect shot. The problem with all this tech isn’t the innovation (that’s actually what’s brilliant about them), it’s the fact that their susceptibility to malware, hacking is not being analysed at all.

Security Woes

A company, when compromised digitally, doesn’t just stand to lose a few files, it can also end up losing a whole lot of private data that can benefit its competitors. In addition to having to guard against data leaks employers also have to think about how allowing these unchecked BYOD into the workspace can affect their own IT infrastructure. The next time someone plugs in a malware infested selfie drone into an official device at work, what kind of damage will the company have to clean up? Privacy at the workplace of other employees can be compromised easily and the only way to stop that from happening is to stop such devices and gadgets from entering the workspace completely.

The problem with BYOD is that it is volatile in nature in that you can’t really touch the device but you need to find ways to minimize any probable harm that can stem from it. How do you control something you essentially have no control over. Moreover, how can you even tell that someone is bringing in a BYOD when it’s something they’re wearing? In order to stop the spread of any problem you would first need to detect the source – and unless you’re looking really hard, there is a chance you might not even see the source at all. As the world continues to become more and more digitized we are continually faced with all sorts of problems such as these. The only way to solve them it come up with coherent policies for the workforce.