BYOD Part 3: Top Risks to Consider

July 9, 2014

Bring Your Own DeviceIn Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we talked about the rising trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Programs in Government and the many benefits that BYOD has to offer. But what are the risks? Today, we’ll explore a few things that government agencies should consider before deciding if BYOD is right for their organization.

Data Security

Data Security has been a hot topic lately, with several recent and highly publicized data breaches reported worldwide. So it is understandable that there would be concerns amongst government professionals over the protection and security of their sensitive data. In fact, according to the National Association of State Chief Information, State Chief Information Officers identified data security as their number one priority in 2014. The federal government also addresses concerns over data security in their Toolkit to Support Federal Agencies Implementing Bring Your Own Device Programs. The toolkit states that, from an information security perspective, “…devices must be configured and managed with information assurance controls commensurate with the sensitivity of the underlying data as part of an overall risk management framework.”

Compliance

Legal compliance is another important consideration when it comes to BYOD. For example, one area of concern in the context of the Freedom of Information Act, involves the rights of employees to protection of personal information on personal mobile devices used for work purposes in BYOD programs.

Technical Continuity

Other risks and challenges for government organizations to consider in the design of BYOD programs include the proper integration of prior applications, the impact of third-party software on personal devices, and the integration of IT and Help Desk access and support procedures for personal devices.

Costs

Costs associated with BYOD programs include staff time for policy development and program management, potential cloud-based solution subscription costs, enterprise software licensing, and the possibility of previously mentioned BYOD employee stipends or allowances.

With these potential issues that can arise in BYOD programs, government professionals may be wondering, do the benefits outweigh the risks? How can I avoid some of the pitfalls mentioned above and implement a successful BYOD program in my agency? In the next installment, we’ll offer a range of tips that government agencies can use to implement a successful BYOD program in their organizations.