Will BYOD (Bring your own device) become the Default this year?

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies look like they’re going to become the go-to and the standard in 2022. 

As we progress throughout this year, we’re likely to see that BYOD is becoming more common. Organizations are taking the potential pitfalls of these policies as far as cybersecurity goes more seriously. 

The explosive growth of BYOD policies stems from the dramatic shift in remote work, sped up by the pandemic. 

BYOD is becoming the norm and expectation rather than the exception. Along with generally preparing for different cybersecurity scenarios that could stem from BYOD, the following are some things to consider this year as it looks to become the default. 

Stats From 2021

While we’re just starting 2022, there are some interesting statistics about BYOD in 2021 to be aware of. 

Around 67% of employees use their personal devices at work, and 69% of IT decision-makers in the United States say they think BYOD policies are good. In 2022, the BYOD market size is expected to reach nearly $367 billion. Almost 60% of organizations have already adopted BYOD. 

Additionally, companies gain an additional 240 hours of work a year from employees thanks to mobile working. 

Nearly 50% of businesses require employees to use their personal phones. 

Why Is BYOD So Popular?

What are the reasons BYOD looks to be the norm?

First, companies like it because it lowers their overhead and out-of-pocket costs. Employers don’t have to buy devices for all employees, nor do they have to pay for device upgrades eventually. 

Even when companies provide BYOD stipends, this cost is usually significantly less than buying and managing devices for everyone. 

There are fewer device-related help desk tickets, so IT costs are reduced, and the department has more time to dedicate to other things. 

From the employee perspective, there’s flexibility in how you can work and where you work. You may be more comfortable using your personal devices. 

Employees tend to have opinions and a sense of loyalty to a particular operating system. When you ask them to change platforms, it can be frustrating and lower productivity. 

Even small things you can do to improve employee satisfaction and a seamless work experience will help with retention. 

The Risks of BYOD 

With BYOD looking like it’s going to become the standard, it’s key to have an idea of both the pros and the cons. This allows you to be proactive in safeguarding against some of the potential downsides. 

  • As touched on, implementing a BYOD program can lower your costs, but you should also consider the added cost to comply with security best practices. For example, you may need to buy mobile device management software. 
  • Consider employee privacy concerns. Most employees worry that their employer will have access to everything on their device, including those things that aren’t related to their work. 
  • There’s an increased risk of cyber-attacks because hackers can take advantage of more attack surfaces. 
  • Physical loss and theft can occur with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and the risk goes up when these are also used for personal purposes. The average loss for a company is more than $49,000 when a device is stolen or misplaced. 

Particular Trends Likely To Affect BYOD

Some of the specific things along with what’s named above that organizations are going to have to consider moving forward with BYOD include:

  • How can organizations reduce some of the costs of BYOD, even when they have to incur others? For example, you may be saving money on IT resources and reducing your overall corporate budget in some ways. Even so,  then you have to keep in mind that increasingly employees expect their employer to pay them a stipend to supplement the cost of using their own devices and the service plans they maintain. 
  • As an employer, you need to balance worker satisfaction and cybersecurity. For example, you want to think about how employees can have a custom experience that’s satisfying for them, but corporate data needs to be secure simultaneously. 
  • Along with the balance of satisfaction and cybersecurity, there’s also an element of privacy. While employees do tend to like BYOD overall, they don’t like the idea of their employer surveilling their phones, so how will you manage security but assure employees that you aren’t accessing their personal information?

It’s very likely BYOD will become the default option this year, but it’s not without potential pitfalls that have to be carefully managed.