Has BYOD Expanded to BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology)?
BYOD (bring your own device) has become so prevalent in today’s workplace that employees whose organizations haven’t adopted an enterprise mobility solution are distressed over its absence. According to a study by IT service provider NG Bailey, 87% of workers in companies with no BYOD policy regarding the use of employee-owned smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices are unhappy. But just as BYOD has seemingly become the norm across the business landscape, a new trend has emerged – people are increasingly expanding the traditional definition of BYOD to BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) as employees are lugging their own software and other technology into the workplace, including web browsers, media players, antivirus tools, and other applications. Just as BYOD has held important privacy and security considerations for the mobile enterprise, BYOT adds another layer of complexity.
As IT strives to protect corporate data and enterprise apps, it has to ensure that any personal apps and technologies used by employees don’t compromise the security of proprietary information. As attorney John Litchfield of Foley & Lardner notes in a recent post, a key concern for employers “may relate to trade secrets, intellectual property, and other confidential information” that could become vulnerable on an employee’s device or when blended with an employee’s own applications and technologies. “Employees who use BYOD will inevitably have access to some non-public information – possibly residing in their email, or on some type of remote access technology.” In the past, a more draconian approach to protecting this information involved the use of mobile device management (MDM) which applies a command-and-control approach to monitoring, accessing, and controlling all content that resides on an employee’s device.
In contrast, mobile application management (MAM®) is a much less invasive and employee-friendly approach to mobile management since it designed to monitor, protect, and manage corporate content that resides on an employee’s device – without impacting their personal information such as personal emails, photos, social media content, personal downloads, etc. As employees continuously bring more of their personal technology assets into the workplace, taking a benevolent approach to corporate security while respecting the rights and privacy of employees simply makes good business sense.
This article originally appeared on WIRED Innovation Insights on Friday, February 7, 2014.