Sir – Reading last month’s feature on the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) revolution, it’s clear that the trend is here to stay. And while it has many benefits, such as convenience and flexibility to name just two, it’s also important for employers not to let their staff get carried away without first implementing adequate security strategies.
Picture how a business was run a century ago, with all its confidential company data kept in a physical format and filed away. Then imagine every single member of staff selecting a file and carrying it around with them every day on public transport, at home, to restaurants and cafes. The risk of them dropping a single sheet of paper or of the entire file being stolen would be high. This is the same picture you should keep in mind when staff adopt BYOD to use their mobiles, tablets and home computers for work purposes.
As housing providers press ahead with flexible access strategies, they must remember that welfare reform means they are holding more confidential information than ever before. Tenants’ bank details, medical history and family circumstances could be accessed at the click of a button. And when non-corporate devices are being used outside the main network of security firewalls, it’s frighteningly easy for this data to fall into the wrong hands.
A solid security strategy that takes BYOD and flexible working into account can counter these risks while maintaining all the benefits. The housing industry is only just beginning its BYOD journey; now is the time to lay secure foundations.
Head of technology sales & housing specialist, JMC IT