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“Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) is the policy of allowing employees to bring their personally owned devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets to work in order to access private company information and systems. Since its origination in 2009 at Intel, BYOD is quickly becoming a workplace technology trend. However, with this practice, businesses are potentially exposed to a new set of risks.

Executive Summary

BYOD provides an opportunity to increase employee productivity on devices they truly love while reducing the company's mobile expenses, but the trend can potentially expose businesses to a whole new set of risks, says OneBeacon Technology's Elizabeth Marazzo. Here, she advises that security, risk management, remediation and policy development should be considered before establishing a BYOD program.

While many believe BYOD will be the next big shift in corporate computing, there is uncertainty about potential implications for corporate Information Technology departments. How will data security be managed? Would IT be tasked with supporting every conceivable computing device? How will IT staff remain current on the latest devices? Yet, some organizations see this as an opportunity to increase employee productivity on devices they truly love while reducing the company’s mobile expenses.

A May 2013 report by Gartner, “Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future,” predicted that by 2017 half of the world’s companies will implement BYOD programs and will no longer provide computing devices to employees. This report also predicted that about 15 percent of companies will never move to BYOD and about 40 percent will offer employees the choice of BYOD or company-provided devices.

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