BYOD is the new normal

BYOD is the new normal

The bring your own device (BYOD) trend has been growing in popularity in recent months and years as firms get to grips with the benefits it can provide, so much so in fact that some experts believe it is the new normal way of working for many organisations.

According to a panel discussion at Infosecurity Europe 2013, the working practice has been driven by the need for firms to control IT budgets, ensure high productivity and support flexible working.

This is leading many companies to allow their staff to utilise their own smartphones, tablets, laptops, and in some cases PCs, for enterprise purposes.

Barry Coatesworth, information security officer at the retail chain New Look, who was serving on the panel, explained that BYOD is just one of the new ways of working which raise challenges for information security. "Sometimes you have to make the impossible possible," he said.

Mr Coatesworth went on to explain that employees often take the decision to use their devices into their own hands, which can often prompt the company to extend BYOD policies.

"The advantage is that people can have the device they want. I see it less as a disruption than a business enabler," he said.

A significant and genuine concern for many firms from the initial moments that BYOD was being discussed was security.

However, technology has developed at a rapid rate and security issues are not as common a problem as they once were.

"You have to accept it. It is not viable to say we are not going to do it, and satisfy yourself on that security stance," said Martyn Croft, CIO for the UK operations of The Salvation Army.

Firms in the private sector have traditionally been the ones spearheading the drive towards the greater flexibility, productivity and efficiency created by embracing the BYOD trend, but now those within the public sphere have been encouraged to get involved in it.