BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) refers to the corporate policy of allowing employees to bring personal devices into the organisation and use them to access corporate resources. Typically, BYOD is used to refer to smartphones, but it can also apply to tablets and laptops. This policy is attractive to businesses – especially small- and medium-sized businesses – because it means that staff can ‘hit the ground running’, i.e. be productive as soon as they join the organisation. The potential drawback is that organisations might have less control over personal devices that they don’t legally own. For this reason, many businesses also implement policies that allow them to manage corporate data on personal devices, e.g. by creating separate containers for business and personal data. Even if an organisation doesn’t implement a BYOD policy, it’s likely that staff will bring their own devices to work: if such devices are given free access to the corporate network, they pose a potential threat to corporate security (even where such access isn’t allowed, it’s important to remember that modern devices make it easy to record what’s happening in the vicinity of the device – e.g. recording confidential meetings).

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