Integrating Employees’ Smart Devices Into the Workplace

Originally published in The New York Law Journal on December 10, 2012.

Companies are increasingly permitting employees to BYOD, or bring (and use) their own smart devices. Being able to use the latest, fastest, sleekest, coolest device promotes a level of employee satisfaction, and it cuts the company’s overhead for devices, data, and sometimes IT support as well. But it’s not entirely a win-win, because BYOD also creates practical and legal problems that every employer needs to be aware of and guard against. This article provides some practical tips on how employers can limit risk and mitigate potential losses from BYOD.

Risks Associated With BYOD -

The practical and legal problems associated with BYOD arise because the device, the data stored on it, and the networks that the devices access all belong to different owners with varying degrees of security and sophistication. At a BYOD company, for example, the device belongs to the employee, who has the ability to store potentially proprietary, privileged and confidential company information on it. If the employee is a service professional—an accountant, attorney, auditor or even doctor, for example—the information the employee stores may belong to clients or patients rather than the employer. Without centralized control of data devices and the information stored on them, companies lack the ability to take traditional security measures to protect their data.

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