Bring Your Own Device policies must be clearly defined. Most organizations know the immense benefit of BYOD and hence allow BYOD. The public sector also benefits from Bring Your Own Device, however they must define necessary, effective and all-encompassing policies for BYOD usage.
Every organization needs to handle data, and in the public sector it is more so as massive volumes of sensitive data are stored, analyzed, and manipulated. Much of personal, confidential data is handled, which may include names, date of birth, addresses, email IDs, health related information and social security numbers. Studies have brought to light that many public sector organisations are not paying the necessary attention that BYOD policies need. While many public sector organizations in the UK have allowed Bring Your Own Device, many do not seem to provide the critical attention that BYOD policies deserve.
Surveys conducted by Annodata with IT decision makers in the UK revealed that only 22% of the UK public sector organisations have a defined BYOD policy, while in 43% of the organizations the IT decision makers were not sure whether they had any policy or not. That was the state of importance landed to Bring Your Own Device policies.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to be implemented shortly. And this would mandate that public sector organizations must follow stricter policies in order to abide by the GDPR. This means BYOD usage must be better defined with policies as Bring Your Own Device becomes more and more popular, and users adapt more to BYOD.
Even now public sector organisations have not yet taken steps to put in place specific policies that are needed to be enforced. The security aspects that pertain to Bring Your Own Device must be given due importance. As the implementation date of GDPR is approaching, this could be considered as an opportune moment to define and implement secure BYOD policies. Implementation of BYOD policies can help review existing policies if any, mitigate risks, and help improve efficiency and boost productivity.
Andrew Smith, the technical director at Annodata states that “With this trend growing, technology is there to support such initiatives, particularly as vendors are working to improve the efficiency of mobile solutions as well as trying to make them more secure. This means working with the right vendor who can conduct a thorough and comprehensive review is essential.”
Smith further adds that “Bring Your Own Device is certainly here to stay and will continue to gain traction. Consequently, preparing a BYOD strategy should be at the forefront for companies that don’t currently have one in place. Employees now wish to use their mobile phones at work and do so in order to make their lives easier. To this end, users want to have the same access to documents and print capabilities on mobile devices as they have on desktops, and with digital workflow becoming more important than ever, seamless printer access is just one example of how BYOD can enable the public sector to be more productive.”