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Do we really need BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in most offices ?

By Mr. Zarir. M. Karbhari - Founder & CEO of CopyNotify!

Today the buzz is all about a mobile work force and their gadgets. 'Bring your own Device' or BYOD is a much touted keyword and even more publicized is the possibility of Data Loss, Data Breach or Data Theft taking place place due to employees using computing devices both for work as well as for personal use.
 

Smart Phones, Tablets , Notepads and Laptops are seen as the new workplace of a new mobile work force demanding an unfettered flow and storage of the company's confidential data on these mobile devices. We already had given ourselves a security migraine taking care of data on the office network (lan) and now we get adventurous and allow company data outside the office network on a regular basis.

Agreed a mobile workforce, BYOD, Mobile device Management are all here to stay and we in the field of data security software will have to figure out ways to secure data in these environments but my question is a little more basic as to how many 'run of the mill companies' in the small and medium sized segment really have or need a full fledged mobile work force.

In most SMB organizations other than the personnel from the sales / marketing departments or upper management, most of the remaining company personal work within the office premises, on their desktops with data in the confines of the office network (LAN). So if a majority of the personnel have to work within office only with data on their desktops, have to work during office hours only and are not required to take work home then why do we allow these persons to bring these high powered personal computing devices, smart phones or mobile phones to office in the first place and where does BYOD come into the picture in this scenario ?

The company should not allow these smart phones, tablets and other such mobile devices within the office premises if not required for any official purpose. You then do not have to worry about confidential corporate data being transferred to these devices, you do not have to buy expensive BYOD / MDM software to monitor these devices and you do not have to worry about data theft at least via this medium.

It might sound draconian but these personal should be asked to leave their mobile devices such as  smart phones etc. outside the work place. If there is an emergency and they need to be contacted I am sure all these companies have the office phone lines which is made available to all.

Now the argument will extend to sales / marketing team as they step out of office and here of course here we will need to apply BYOD / MDM practices but is it not an overkill that for a miniscule number sales / marketing people, you decide to apply BYOD security policies and software to the rest of the company? This overkill would be expensive and very non productive and data loss will take place!

Allow for BYOD where needed else bring in some good old discipline of what 'can or cannot' be brought within the office premises. This demand that 'I must have my own device on me at all times' including company time is baseless.

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