Panel: Expect productivity gains with BYOD

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LONDON – Organizations on the fence about whether to embrace a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment can rest assured that it won't negatively affect productivity.

A panel of CISOs speaking at this week's InfoSecurity Europe conference, all of whom have implemented a BYOD strategy at their respective organizations, admitted that there are security and application management challenges to this trend. But all agreed on the positive impact it has on employee productivity.

Seeing as the enterprise wouldn't be tasked with purchasing the devices, there are cost benefits, said Thom Langford, director of the global security office at Sapient, an international marketing firm. In addition, enterprises will get more out of their employees.

Although there are risks to take into consideration when implementing a BYOD strategy, security pros should instill trust in their employees, said Barry Coatesworth, information security officer at retail website NewLook.com.

"Human nature is very rebellious," he said. "If it's a personal device, you probably won't be able to lock down a lot of things. At the end of the day, most of us will be happy as long as it doesn't effect productivity and there's no detriment to the work."

Some companies still shy away from BYOD, and this could end up hurting them, Coatesworth added. Rather than dodging employee requests, security practitioners should be "flexible and agile."

"You need to find out what their needs are and be flexible to those needs," he said. "If not they'll work around whatever walls you put up. We need to move ahead of the times."
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