How your business can learn from Hillary Clinton’s BYOD gaffe

How your business can learn from Hillary Clinton’s BYOD gaffe

As the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has taken hold of businesses up and down the country, it has never been more important to ensure that such technology is used in the correct way.

Experts are almost universal in agreeing that a firm BYOD policy is crucial for ensuring that data is protected in systems where employees are allowed to use their own devices.

No one is immune to making mistakes, as demonstrated by former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State (and potential US presidential candidate), who was caught out when using her personal email server for State Department business.

Reports suggest she may have deleted official emails and messages in order to protect her own privacy.

In a press conference on the subject, Mrs Clinton said: “I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed. I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”   

The confession has led many analysts to discuss a number of points relating to BYOD policy, placing a particular emphasis on the use of personal email accounts for work purposes.

The decision to delete emails was defended by Mrs Clinton, who stated that no one wanted their personal emails to made public.

However, while there can be a multitude of good reasons for combining both business and personal matters on a single device. Businesses have an obligation when it comes to protecting and archiving business communications.

It means that companies always need to ensure there is access to business data held on devices, although they cannot be allowed to have access personal files or communications.

The mixing of the two is bound to create further debate over the next few weeks, with the popular opinion among experts being that Mrs Clinton's personal email account was more vulnerable to hackers than a government account.

Mixing the two could therefore be hugely damaging to a company's security policy, where you are a small business or the White House.