Let's take a look at those Gartner projections again. Less than 3% of all businesses will block BYOD outright, and these organizations will probably be in highly regulated, security-conscious segments such as government and banking. Meanwhile, ignoring BYOD will go away forever--a wise response to a trend that poses significant security problems. The upshot is that if you have any stake in the hardware or networking infrastructures in your business, now is a good time to consider BYOD risks and benefits, and to develop a plan for managing BYOD at your company.
The tricky part is that there's no single correct response to BYOD. There's no silver-bullet platform or application that just makes BYOD work. For many businesses, there isn't even a single BYOD approach that they can apply companywide. Different roles and individuals may present different levels of risk, and may require you to apply and manage BYOD differently.
With this in mind, here are four essential matters to consider when you're navigating the ever-swirling BYOD waters.
1. Weigh your options
BYOD is emerging as a valuable and effective tool for attracting and retaining talent. Younger staffers simply expect to use their own smartphones and tablets to get work done. That said, embracing BYOD doesn't have to mean allowing a free-for-all.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group, explains: "Extremely unsecure platforms should likely still be avoided until and unless they can be effectively locked down. IT should still ensure that devices are protected through policy, and that corporate information is segregated from personal information, and is protected, and [that] its use is managed by policy."
As for the definition of "unsecure platforms," we can look straight to Android for some of the bigger security risks in the BYOD revolution, but unpatched Java and Flash installations are responsible for security breaches as well.