Many of today’s smartphones can transform into personal Wi-Fi hotspots, allowing employees to use their laptops and tablets anytime, anywhere. However, unless every computer in the company is restricted from connecting to any unauthorized network, employee hotspots expose the company to liability, malware and data loss. Also, employees often use their hotspots to view information they don’t want their employers to track, so personal networks in the workplace can place a significant drain on productivity.
Each company should determine whether to allow or ban BYON. If it’s allowed, then define it in the “acceptable use” section of employee BYOD policy, clearly stating when and how employees can use their own hotspots. Alternatively, if you decide to ban BYON, have a plan in place to detect and respond to non-compliance issues.
Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC)
BYOC services enable employees to use third-party cloud storage programs like Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Google Drive or iCloud for their work items. They offer convenience for employees wanting to access their files from anywhere. However, they also expose the enterprise to data breaches because employees are storing work outside of the enterprise cloud. BYOC also increases the complexity and sprawl of the company’s infrastructure, and the bandwidth required for file sharing can place a strain on network resources. Consider a business subscription to a service like Dropbox or Evernote so your employees can take advantage of cloud storage and anywhere access while keeping proprietary information secure.
Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT)
BYOT is a philosophy extending beyond letting employees choose their own devices. Essentially, it’s an umbrella term for all of the BYOs: BYOD, BYOA, BYON, BYOC, BYOPC (bring your own PC) and others. A completely open BYOT environment provides maximum flexibility for employees, but it also provides many headaches for IT. Ultimately, you’ll probably have to let your employees go as far with BYOT as productivity and security allow. Just make sure you don’t drive away your IT staff by making their jobs unnecessarily complex.