The concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is an undeniable trend among businesses big and small, where employees want to bring their personally owned devices into the workplace.
This key word has become a hot topic in Japan since the year 2014. With a growing number of UC services providing seamless communication and collaboration solutions, such as the well-received “broadsoft UC-ONE”, a climate has hence formed in Japan where chat tools and mobile services are introduced into corporate environments.
To fully understand this phenomenon, the Japan Smartphone Security Forum (JSSEC) has released its report on the various types of BYOD in contemporary Japanese companies. *1
Although the JSSEC report mainly focuses on the use of smartphones, it is still an invaluable source to understand the stance of Japanese companies and the challenges we might face to further incorporate BYOD.
Type 1. “Taking the Wheel”
These companies hold the initiative for introducing BYOD and thorough regulations are in place. The companies and employees both have clear guidelines on the scope of work where personally owned smartphones can be used. Both parties are also conscious of security measures and preventions against information leaks.
Type 2. “Initial Step”
Although specific BYOD policies are yet to be implemented, these companies have positively accepted personally owned devices for business use. On the other hand, with a prioritized emphasis on efficiency and convenience, it is easy to overlook the importance of risk recognition and prevention measures.
Type 3. “Progression”
Without intentions to introduce the concept of BYOD or setting up any regulations, these companies have found employees using their own devices to access corporate data. There is a certain level of risk recognition involved but no prevention.
Type 4. “Blind Eye”
Management in these companies turn a blind eye to BYOD. It is not clear as for who will be held accountable for security risks and information leaks.
Type 5. “Undercover”
Although these companies prohibit BYOD, individual employees continue to make use of their own devices in total discretion. In addition, when employees from “Taking the Wheel” type companies use their smartphones outside of the agreed range of work, they also fall into this group.
From the above 5 types of BYOD existing in Japanese companies, does any sound familiar?
We find the “Blind Eye” and “Undercover” type companies especially worrying because of the high security risks they fail to observe. Without firm regulations or proper management of the BYOD, they would have little or no control over the extent of corporate data that can be accessed on a personally owned device. Furthermore, there could also be an increased risk from threats such as hackers and viruses.
As much as implementing BYOD increases productivity and reduces costs, we should also actively take on the challenges an open platform might bring. Incorporating unified communications services from a trustworthy provider and developing a clear set of BYOD policies should be a great place to start.
2012 年 10 月 26 日