Managing the legal risks with BYOD

I have an article in this month’s edition of Supply Management, the journal for the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

The article looks at how organisations can manage some of the legal risks arising out of allowing staff to use their own smartphones, tablets and other devices for work purposes (“bring your own device” or “BYOD”).

In particular, I look at:

  • how to manage the information security risks and the benefits of mobile device management software as a way of controlling access to enterprise data;
  • the software licensing issues that can arise from allowing staff to access the enterprise network through a virtual desktop such as Citrix or from a device that isn’t owned by the employer; and
  • the importance of a BYOD policy, and what this should cover

The article is essential reading for any organisation that allows (or is thinking of allowing) staff to access enterprise systems on their own devices. This applies regardless of whether such access is provided under a formal BYOD scheme or is done on a “turning a blind eye” basis.

As my employment law colleagues noted in our recent seminars on BYOD, the latter approach is likely to lead to problems, as the employer may be unable to take disciplinary action against the employee in the event of an information security breach. In contrast, a properly drafted BYOD policy will put the employer in a far better position – in terms of setting expectations with its employees (and managing misconduct) and compliance with its obligations under data protection laws.

You can read the article on the Supply Management website.

Martin Sloan

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