Bring your own due diligence

Bring your own due diligence

July 02, 2014

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Given all the hype, you might think that despite the challenges of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD), most enterprises were doing it. In fact, the reality appears to be that even in June 2014, half of British companies do not allow employees to use any of their own devices at work, because of ‘a lack of resources and a failure to balance the needs of employees and those of the IT department’ according to research from CompTIA, the ICT trade association.

Its survey revealed that only four percent of British businesses claimed to have embraced full-blown BYOD, where employees provide all devices. Privacy and data security concerns have been the stumbling blocks for many organisations keen to give their workers the flexibility of working on any device from any location, while ‘allowing’ employees to pick up the tab for their own, often not inexpensive, smart devices. So far, only 28 percent of UK companies have a formal mobility policy in place, reports CompTIA, although 31 percent say they are working on one.

Although it looks like more people are talking about BYOD than doing it, many large enterprises are consulting law firms for advice on the legal ramifications of BYOD. Yet, have the law firms got their own house in order? Researchers have found more than two-thirds (73 percent) of law firms report that staff are bringing their own devices such as smartphones and tablets to work, yet almost half of law firms (46 percent) are still without a strategy to manage BYOD.

Failure to develop a BYOD strategy is presenting law firms with real-life problems, according to AltoDigital. Its survey found that of the 40 percent of firms that had experienced issues, 71 percent reported network security breaches or viruses. This is not just an IT issue – network security breaches or viruses can be the first step of an attack on company systems by criminals intent on stealing corporate and client data.

Deloitte’s Upwardly Mobile report found that 61 percent of British adults have a smartphone but only 21 percent of employees in large businesses are equipped to work away from their desk. As this gap closes, law firms would be well advised to do their own BYOD due diligence before advising others.

Five fast facts about BYOD 

A quarter of US business users admitted to having had a security issue in the past year with their private device that they were using for business, but only 27 percent of those respondents felt obliged to report this to their employer. Source: Gartner Group.

15 percent of US business users have signed a BYOD agreement. Source: Gartner Group.

About 30 percent of European businesses have formal BYOD policies in place, according to IDC, while 25 percent said they intend to put them in place within the next 18 months. Source: PC Pro

BYOD is more popular in the US than Europe. Source: PC Pro

The average employee saves 37 minutes per week thanks to using his or her own device, with a high of 81 minutes per week in the US and a low of four minutes per week saved in Germany. Source: Cisco IBSG Horizons Study.