We live in a world where our phones come with us wherever we go and the choice to bring our device along is often an unconscious thought. On account of this tendency, most employees don’t think twice about bringing their phones to work. Allowing personal devices in the workplace is a topic of constant debate because an unregulated and lenient device system can present a host of different security issues for the company. Some of the more sensitive security issues include a potential breach of customer data, company login credentials and business e-mails.
One response is to provide employees with company phones. Although there are benefits, company phones can be both costly for the company and bothersome for the employees. To quell these problems, many companies respond by adopting a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policy in the workplace. BYOD policies vary, but most restrict data and application use to moderate the risk of accidental and intentional company information breaches.
We’re excited about the new BlackBerry 10 OS because it leads the way for a practical solution to BYOD issues. They have a new feature named ‘Balance’, which facilitates a separation between work usage and personal usage on the same device. When the device is in work mode, employees are only able to see and access company approved data and apps. Like a regular BlackBerry operating system, the personal mode has unregulated device access. ‘Balance’ seems to be inspired by the advice to leave your work at the office and your personal life at home. We can only hope that his new BlackBerry feature can inspire us to practice this age-old advice more diligently in our own lives.
This infographic from Rapid7 shows the significant increase in personal mobile device use in the workplace. It says 51% of organizations experienced data loss from using unsecured devices and almost three-quarter of the devices have application vulnerabilities.