A recent article in Computer World, BYOD to Work But Be Prepared for Wipes, Bring your own device (BYOD) - commonly known as bring your own technology (BYOT) or bring your own PC (BYOPC) – refers to the policy of allowing employees to bring their own laptops, computers, smartphones, etc. to access confidential company information.
All Canadian lawyers (solo’s to large firm professionals) have witnessed some sort of BYOD. It is making significant progress in the business realm with approximately 75% of employees in high growth markets using it.
The pros of BYOD are happier employees, better productivity and, obviously, lower costs for employers. The downside of BYOD is that private company information might get shared which would lead to major security headaches. Some firms have tried to ban personal devices altogether which is never a good option.
More firms are using a solution created by Unisys, which is currently testing a BYOD system to see how it would work. The employees are allowed to use any of their devices at work as long as they abide by an Acceptable Use Agreement (AUA). Every personal device that is used at work must have a PKI device certificate installed. This certificate will be used to authenticate the device each time the owner logs in.
Employees will also have to be okay with agreeing to install remote wipe software on their personal devices, so that corporate data can be quickly erased if needed. Additionally, employees will have to accept the fact that their personal devices could be confiscated for certain lengths of time in the event of a legal hold.
Presently, personal devices are only permitted access to corporate e-mail and calendars. Access may be broadened in the future which would require multi-level authentication.
What do you think of BYOD? Would you sign up for it at your law firm?
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