Allowing the Use of Personal Devices for Company Work, a Mixed Bag

Letting employees use their own devices for work garners a mixed reaction. While some see no problem with the practice, there are those who see it as just another way for hackers to access critical company data. Of biggest concern is when employees use those same devices to browse online social sites, which are rife with cyber crooks. Add to that the fact that only 1 in 4 such devices are adequately protected, and the problems that can arise are apparent, according to a recent report by www.mercurynews.com.

With data hacking on the rise, many employers are torn between the reduced costs associated with letting employees use their own device and the inherent dangers in doing so. According to a recent Cisco survey conducted in January, roughly 48% of the 1,500 information technology managers questioned said they forbid the practice altogether. This is in sharp contrast to the 65% of 786 participants in another study — by Check Point Software Technologies of Redwood City — who allowed their employees to use their own gadgets. On the flip side to that number, 71% of those same employers blamed such connections by mobile devices for an increase in security incidents.

There are even some companies reluctant to divulge whether their employees use their own mobile devices for work, saying it is a matter of security. However, Cisco has embraced the use of personal devices with open arms. Just under 50% of the company’s employees use personal devices for work. The gadgets that are utilized are connected to company software that can wipe sensitive data from them remotely in case they are lost; this also prevents spam. And while the company’s primary objective is to protect customer and company data, it also wants employees to be satisfied with the devices they have to work with.

Companies are increasingly realizing that the world is becoming a mobile environment. Some are trying to meet the demand of work on the go. The thing to remember is to temper freedom with responsibility.

For more information about the use of mobile devices for work on the road, visit: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19923075