Group of co-workers at laptop on table

The Benefits and Considerations of Pairing BYOD and File Sharing

Organizations that allow the practice of bring your own device (BYOD) report a variety of benefits, from higher worker productivity to increased employee satisfaction. And coupling a BYOD policy with a secure file sharing solution is a great way to give the people what they want and ensure your files are safe.

There are quite a few benefits of BYOD, but there are a few security considerations you need to keep in mind if you’re using BYOD along with a file sharing solution.

BYOD and File Sharing: a One-two Punch

The benefits of using BYOD policy with a secure file sharing solution are wide-reaching, but first and foremost, it can drastically lower your overhead. Obviously, if you don’t have to provide a device for each employee, that’s going to add up to a lot of savings. Companies with a BYOD policy in place save on average 50 per year, per employee.

There’s no fight between Mac and PC with a BYOD policy. Employees can use whatever they are comfortable with instead of needing to learn different ways of performing functions they’ve been using for years (I’m looking at you, Command button).

The productivity of your IT team is also enhanced because BYOD employees are more responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the devices they personally own. Your IT department can spend more time focusing on more important issues than just help desk tickets.

Another great benefit to BYOD and file sharing is the ability to implement a remote work policy more easily. If your team already owns their devices and has access to work files through a file sharing solution, then remote work becomes a no brainer. Learn more about how to leverage file sharing in a remote work environment.

Public Wi-Fi Security

Did you know a local coffee shop could be an incredibly dangerous place for a BYOD worker and the files they’re working on? The reason: public Wi-Fi (Dun, dun, DUNNN!).

Since a BYOD worker can take their device with them anywhere, chances are they will be using in a public area every once in a while, and that means they will be tempted to use free public Wi-Fi. Make sure your BOYD team understands that public Wi-Fi systems should not be trusted for business use of any sort.

What a coffee shop, restaurant, or mall thinks is a nice perk, could actually be a breeding grounds for malicious activity. Security on these networks is lax or nonexistent, and there is a multitude of ways seedy individuals could get access to confidential information. From malware distribution to malicious hotspots to snooping and sniffing, it’s not worth the risk to get free Wi-Fi.

A secure file sharing solution can compensate for weaknesses in mobile devices and protect your files, but there’s no need to push your luck. If you or your team are conducting business in public, it’s best to use a virtual private network (VPN) to access your file sharing solution. This will ensure that your connections are made private.

Here are some other public Wi-Fi security considerations:

  • Don’t allow your Wi-Fi to auto-connect to networks.
  • Log out of accounts when done using them
  • Don’t access websites that hold your sensitive information

BYOD Shouldn’t Mean Bring Your Own File Sharing Solution

One thing to remember if you are using a BYOD policy is also to provide a good file sharing solution for your team because if you don’t, I can almost guarantee they will find one on their own.

There are so many great tools out there that can make work more efficient, including file sharing solutions, but if each team member goes out on their own and finds a different tool, then you can’t be sure that files (and the important information they contain) are being handled with the appropriate level of controls. Just like a fragile box in the mail (or the emotions of others), your files need to be “handled with care.”

You can’t ask your team members to simply not use tools that make their lives easier. There are way too many benefits to file sharing solutions for them not to seek one out. So you’ll want to give them all access to one that will work in your favor.

BYOD is a global phenomenon that doesn’t have to work against your company and the security of your files. Organizations that put the right policies and tools in place can take advantage of BYOD benefits while still protecting company files and data.

SmartFile is a business file mangement platform that gives you more control, compliance and security.