What are the Key Challenges Surrounding BYOD?

1 August 2017 | Posted by Cass Information Systems, Inc.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has been taking over the workplace, with adoption estimated to be between 40 and 75%. BYOD certainly has a great deal to offer enterprises, but it's not without its challenges - which must be understood to ensure a BYOD program is successful.

Driving Official Adoption

In the USA, 37% of employees say they’re using personal devices for work purposes without notifying anybody that they’re doing so. This, of course, represents a huge challenge for IT departments, because they can’t secure devices they aren’t aware of.

When an organization launches an official BYOD program, the first challenge will be encouraging employees to sign up, but this also presents an opportunity to ensure employees are aware of any BYOD policies you have in place.

Acceptable Use?

Cisco study shows U.S. workers save an average of 81 minutes per week (or nearly nine working days a year) when using their own devices, but unrestricted access to their apps can easily tempt them down the rabbit hole of procrastination.

Setting the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable use is one of the most basic challenges of BYOD and should provide the basis of a BYOD policy.

It's vital not to gloss over your acceptable-use rules; they need to be fair to employees, easy to understand and simple to follow, without compromising your security or business principles.

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End-User Privacy

A Harris Interactive survey of nearly 2,500 U.S. workers found that nearly 80% of employees are concerned about employers having access to the private information on their devices, and over 80% considered the ability to track their location to be an invasion of their privacy.

The fact so many employees worry about BYOD affecting their privacy highlights how significant a challenge this can be for a business.

While security is undoubtedly vital, implementing policy that unnerves employees or violates their right to privacy, can wreak havoc with morale and lead to staff breaking, or finding ways around, your policy.


There’s no doubt that one of the biggest and most pressing BYOD challenges for any businesses is cybersecurity. Some activities employees don’t think twice about - for example using social media or connecting to unsecured WiFi - are actually potential security nightmares for businesses.

64% of employees rely solely on the security features that come pre-installed on their phone, but this is often insufficient for business-use. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to convince employees to increase the level of security of their phones if it might inhibit their experience.

Lost or Stolen Devices

You might think BYOD removes the corporate burden when it comes to lost or stolen devices, but whenever hardware used for work purposes goes missing, it causes managers sleepless nights.

That’s because 40% of large data-breaches are caused when devices with access to unencrypted data fall into the wrong hands.

One of the most effective ways to manage this issue is to install remote-wipe safeguards that allow IT to remotely delete all data on that device.


The practicalities of reimbursement can be a pain for both enterprise and employees because of the intense bureaucracy that often accompanies expense claims, whether it’s filling out lengthy forms, reliance on paper documents or needing to submit original receipts.

Direct payments can help to streamline and simplify the BYOD reimbursement process by directly crediting an employee’s carrier account every time they are billed.

The biggest challenge of BYOD is finding the right balance between protecting the business with comprehensive security safeguards, and respecting end-user privacy. Security and privacy aren’t mutually exclusive by any means, so the key to overcoming this challenge is compromise.

A clear and extensive BYOD policy is equally important, preferably one that’s been developed with input from both employers and employees, facilitating a solution that everybody is happy with. Unfortunately, only 39% of companies have a formal BYOD policy in place.

To discover the 8 essential steps to writing an effective Enterprise BYOD policy, read our free guide today.

Topics: BYOD Security, BYOD

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