Employees more aware of risks relating to BYOD than their employers

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5 November, 2013

More and more employees take their own, privately owned devices with them to their workplace and use those devices for work-related tasks. Although the use of personally owned devices for work-related tasks has its benefits, mixing business and private use on the same device can also possibly lead to several security and privacy risks. Considerati supported ECP (The Dutch platform for the information society) in a research on the implementation of Bring Your Own Device in the Dutch SME sector. The results were interesting, and sometimes somewhat surprising.

BYOD is an upcoming phenomenon in the Dutch SME sector. At the moment, less than half of the employers in the SME sector allow their employees to bring their personally owned device to the workplace in order to use those devices for work-related tasks. Surprisingly, only a fraction of those employers has some form of agreement or policy in place. But having a BYOD policy is important; by providing clarity for both employees and employers on the allowed uses of personal devices, the risks surrounding BYOD can be limited or even prevented.

What are the benefits of BYOD?

  • Employees that are allowed to work with familiar soft- and hardware are increasingly satisfied with their work-environment and are more efficient;
  • Employees are happier with their employers because they respond to the employee’s needs and wishes;
  • Investment costs for hardware for employers decrease.

What are the drawbacks of BYOD?

  • Security risks
  • Privacy risks
  • Possible additional burdens for the IT-department

The research additionally shows that employees are on average better aware of security and privacy risks when applying BYOD than their employers. Whether this leads to additional security measures or different behaviour could not be derived from the research, but we could conclude that employees have a more realistic view on security risks and privacy law than their employers.

The use of personal devices for work-related tasks is growing in the Netherlands, whether employees allow it – or have policies in place – or not. A separate research conducted by Fortinet shows that employees between the ages 21 and 32 increasingly use their personally owned device in the workplace. Those employees also state that they would continue to use their own devices, even if their employer would disallow the use of personal devices for work-related tasks. As an employer, you should therefore think smart about the way you could implement BYOD into your organisation, how you want to streamline its use and how you can keep your employees satisfied while simultaneously restrict some of the uses of personal devices that are used for work-related tasks.

Considerati and ECP have therefore developed a Top 10 of tips for SME employers (Dutch) who want to implement BYOD into their organisation. In addition, we developed a template policy (Dutch) that can be used as a guideline for your own BYOD policy, which can be found on the website of Digibewust (part of ECP).

If you have any additional questions regarding BYOD, the research or on how you can responsibly implement BYOD into your organisation, feel free to contact Nathalie Falot by mail or call 0031 6 31766087.

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Nathalie Falot

Senior Legal Consultant

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