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Investigate Your BYOD Policies

July 29, 2015

Bring-Your-Own-Device policies are great and awful...

Allowing employees to bring their own devices can increase efficiency, allow for more accessibility, reduce hardware costs, and allow employees to introduce new methods of efficiency. However, BYOD policies also create wage nightmares, enable data to be more easily stolen, lost, or shared, and reduce the ease of collaboration amongst employees on different platforms.

Bring-Your-Own-Device Policies Also Create an Investigative Nightmare.

The baseline premise in the United States is that an employer owns workplace information and communications. Having that information on many devices held by people with varying levels of security awareness can challenge that information's integration and make it impossible for the employer to preserve it. In addition, there may be substantial forensic and workforce costs related to simply getting data from a company with a BYOD policy. That data may be incomplete, compromised, or even missing.

Imagine these  BYOD scenarios:

• Allegedly, there are abusive text messages between a supervisor and a subordinate employee. The supervisor "lost" his device, and the subordinate employee's device went missing the day after the complaint was made. Neither adequately backed up their data.• A company's intellectual property is stored and accessed through a service like Dropbox, but one of the engineers does not password-protect his smartphone. Then he loses his phone at a vendor's office, which is never recovered.

• Several employees report their phones are disappearing. Those phones house their work emails, texts, documents, and notes. Unfortunately, none of the phones have tracking apps enabled, and none are backed up.

• A supervisor is accused of making racial slurs. Most of the alleged victims quit, taking their phones with them, and are unwilling to interact with the company further. The employer cannot reconstruct the texting and phone records of the supervisor and his victims enough to establish the veracity, or falsehood, of claims.

• Your company is sued over harassment and discrimination claims, but the company never preserved the data needed to establish that the lawsuits are frivolous.

Many considerations sign on how to provide technology to your workforce, and it is well worth having your IT and legal professionals help determine what is suitable for your company. In addition, investigative matters should be considered in collaboration with many other issues when deciding the proper hardware scheme for your organization.