The recent boom in the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend can be credited in large part to its popularity among small to midsize businesses (SMBs). However, even though it is one of the easiest ways for these businesses to cut down on start up costs, there are risks and challenges every SMB should be aware of first.
1. Implementing a BYOD policy
It is extremely important that small and midsize businesses using BYOD implement a clear BYOD policy on their network. Unfortunately many SMBs are actively encouraging the use of these data-sharing programs and services or adopting them company-wide due to their affordability and ease of use, without putting a policy in place first.
2. Smaller IT Departments
Having a smaller business usually means, at best, only being able to afford a small IT department (sometimes consisting of only one employee). However, the importance of an IT department or at least having an IT professional on staff cannot be underestimated. Experts predict that small and midsize businesses’ IT spending for security services and programswill exceed $5.6 billion in 2015 (this number will grow twice as fast as small businesses’ total IT spending).
3. Facing Legal Repercussions
SMBs, particularly those in compliance-bound industries like legal and healthcare who have to comply with data security laws, should be extremely cautious when using these file-sharing services and programs or allowing employees to use them for business purposes. One security breach or inadvertent public disclosure could lead to massive fines or other legal actions taken against them. For any SMB, fines or other legal actions taken against them can be the death nail for their business.
4. Depending on Programs and Services that are not Failsafe
One example of this is Dropbox and the major security breach the service suffered in which all user data became accessible without a password. Like Dropbox and other personal cloud solutions, as Google Drive begins to enter the business environment, it will pose particular challenges for small and midsize businesses which often have fewer IT resources to monitor and control this type of data movement. The reality is that it’s just a matter of time before another breach occurs, whether it is Dropbox or one of many other storage vendors used by businesses today. It’s important when choosing a file-sharing service or program you take a look at their security features first.
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