One of the things that has seen a steady evolution over the last few years is the use of personal devices for work. It used to be that if an employee wanted to get access to company data or systems on the go, the company would provide them with a device to use. But, there were a lot of downsides to that for everyone involved. Businesses wanted to save on costs. No one wanted to carry a second phone. So, here we are where any employee that wants or needs to get access to company email or other data can do so from their personal phone. But, is this a good thing? There are certainly upsides to it, but you need to consider the downsides, too.

  • When employees connect their personal devices to company systems, they have the ability to download data to a device that the company doesn’t control. This can have a range of implications. If the employee leaves the company, they might retain that copy of the data. If they lose or sell the device, the data might go with it.
  • The company doesn’t set the security standards for personal devices. The fact that you are keeping your company computers up to date is great, but might be for naught if you have an employee connecting from a virus-laden PC with a cracked copy of Windows or a rooted phone running a three-year-old version of Android.

Even if everything is good, employees are paying attention to the security of their devices, and no one is trying anything malicious, you still run the risk of untrusted apps. Apps are added to company computers after they’ve been vetted and a business need for them has been validated. Apps are added to personal devices any time the fancy strikes, are given far too many permissions, and are rarely removed. And, that could mean trouble for your business. 

Here is an article that explains how TikTok is reading data copied into the clipboard of your phone whenever you have it open. That means that if your employees have TikTok open and copy confidential data from, say, a doc to an email on their phone, that data could go to TikTok. Even if the risk of that data is low, that could cause a compliance issue that opens you up to legal liability or lawsuits.

Make sure that you understand what devices are connecting to your systems and your data. Reach out to us to get help setting that up.

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