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January 30, 2013

The Risks and Benefits of BYOD

The BYOD trend seems unavoidable. Companies like it because it can help save money. Workers like it because it is convenient for them. But BYOD is not all hearts and flowers, as there are many risks involved in the trend as well.

A panel of experts spoke at ITEXPO Miami 2013 on this topic, outlining both the benefits and the complications of BYOD.

The panel consisted of Chris Koeneman of ADTRAN, Andy Zmolek of Enterproid, and Angie Reed of Digium. The group spoke about how BYOD is changing the business landscape and some of the inherent risks involved.

Koeneman pointed out that most people are fixated on the device part of “bring your own device.” This is simply because we love our gadgets. But there is a lot more to BYOD than just the device. He emphasized that companies need to think about network issues. Bringing all sorts of new devices into the office can overload a network that is not designed for that much activity.

The key is to scale the network and to keep types of devices in mind when developing a network strategy.

Zmolek discussed how extending endpoint control to mobile devices is not enough, as it upsets users. Right now, two thirds of businesses are using UC and it is more important than ever for companies to protect their data on the various devices. The control must be split between the enterprise and the device owners, keeping cost and security concerns in mind.

Finally, Reed gave some interesting statistics about BYOD. She pointed out that two thirds of workers feel that they can be more effective at home. Small- and medium- businesses are adopting BOYD at a higher rate than enterprises (34 percent compared to 22 percent) and 62 percent of companies will use iPads in the next six months. A startling statistic revealed the 71 percent of devices have vulnerabilities. Reed stressed that context-driven security with a layered implementation approach is important.

Edited by Braden Becker

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