BYOD: 4 Trust & Security Issues You Need to Address Right Now

With BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becoming more common in the workplace, the issues surrounding them are becoming more necessary to address. With a device outside of the control of your IT department, security becomes an issue and trusting the technical know-how of your employees is put to the test.

Here are some of the top 4 BYOD trust and security issues that you need to deal with when allowing employees to bring their own devices to work:

Issue #1 – Security

Obviously, security is one of the top concerns when dealing with BYOD. There is always the fear of a device being hacked or stolen. Fortunately, there is location-based tracking and remote disablement software available to help counter these threats, but at what costs? How will using these counter-measures affect not only the company, but the employee?

To help balance good security with good employee-employer relations, a clear BYOD policy should outline to users exactly what security threats are out there and how a company’s counter-measures may affect the user’s daily life, as well as their device.

Issue #2 – Tech Support

While tech support is appreciated (and even expected) by employees to help solve their technical problems, there arises a trust issue when tech support deals with BYOD.

An employee’s device is their own and may contain personal data. Trust is placed with tech support to solve the problem, but how can you keep them from violating an employee’s privacy and snooping through their personal data?

In reality, there is nothing you can do; at least from the standpoint of ensuring your tech support is morally and professionally responsible with another employee’s private data. But there are options out there to help alleviate the trust issues and risk of employees getting nosy.

One such suggestion is to create a separate workspace on the phone. The work and personal portions of the phone are separate from each other and data is encrypted. This way, tech support only has access to the work portion.

Issue #3 – Proper Device Use

Allowing employees to bring a personal device to work is a big gamble because it greatly increases the opportunities for them to goof off and use their devices for non-work related functions (e.g. playing games and using social media).

However, there are ways to counter this. The two most common solutions are geo-fencing and blacklisting.

Geo-fencing involves restricting those within a network from using certain apps. For example, you might create a geo-fence around the entire office network and that does not allow employees to access the Facebook network, thereby stopping their app from doing so.

Blacklisting is more devices specific. It involves restricting a device from installing and running apps that are part of a list, hence a “blacklist”.

Issue #4 -Oversight

BYOD clearly defines the device as “your device”, but in the event of something like a lawsuit, you may need to give up your device (and all the data inside of it) for evidence or forensic analysis.

This can create some serious trust issues between the employer and employee.

The only real way to deal with this sort of trust issue is to be upfront about it. Create a very transparent policy and be clear about how employee data is tracked and how the data will be handled in the event of a lawsuit.

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This article, by Keith Lai, originally appeared on the Altura Blog, and is reprinted with permission.

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Four Reasons to Focus on Mobility (and Three Ways to Get Started)

Mobility is a no-brainer in today’s smart, digital world … or is it? As recently as 2013, only 22% of leaders had made a strong business case for bring your own device (BYOD). We’ve made some inroads since (as of last year, 59% allowed employees to use personal devices for work), but still have a ways to go.

Mobility is an absolute must. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are four proven benefits:

  1. You’ll make a lot more money
    Research from the IES and The UK Institute for Work Studies found that increasing engagement investments by just 10% can increase profits by up to $2,400 per employee, per year. Consider a large enterprise with 500 employees—investments in mobility could lead to as much as $1.2 million in additional revenue for the company per year.
  2. You’ll drive employee wellness/satisfaction
    One survey shows that 97% of companies agree that employee well-being positively influences employee engagement. And wouldn’t you know, mobility helps ease areas of wellness with the greatest impact on engagement: work/personal stress, physical health, personal relationships and work productivity. Allow more flexibility with mobile team collaboration and you’ll see major improvements.
  3. You’ll get better results, period
    Mobility improves engagement, and engaged teams drive outstanding results. In fact, research shows that companies with better engaged teams outperform others by over 200%. Mobility also now seems to be at the heart of corporate culture (this Forbes article excellently argues why), and 95% of executives believe culture is important in driving business outcomes.
  4. You’ll narrow your talent gap
    You need the right people with the right skills to differentiate and compete. An average 34% of global organizations have difficulty filling jobs due to a lack of available talent, with this number significantly higher in regions like Asia-Pacific (45%), India (67%) and Brazil (42%). The right employees can be seamlessly on-boarded—regardless of location—with the ability to engage anytime, anywhere via advanced mobility.

Get Started

Ready to improve mobile team collaboration? Consider these ways to take charge:

  • Get with the softphone revolution. Softphones are now widely deployed in the enterprise and advanced versions go well beyond the phone to provide calendar integration, instant messaging, contacts and call logs, as well as one touch access to meetings and collaboration capabilities.
  • Embed real-time communications (i.e., voice, video, chat) directly into the applications employees use each day to work. Eliminate the need for them to hop in and out of multiple disparate apps.
  • Flexibly integrate applications using an open communications platform. These apps can be ready-made from a trusted provider or existing within the Avaya Snapp Store. Even better, challenge employees to build custom apps that can further improve team collaboration.
  • Invest in a desk phone solution that fuses mobile simplicity with advanced enterprise software tools. Personalize user experience and eliminate the need for employees to use multiple mobile devices to engage.

Avaya can help you successfully take these next steps, as well as create an effective mobile strategy for your business. Read the IDC Technology Spotlight and get started today.

Avaya Named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Infrastructure

Avaya is honored to be recognized as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Contact Center Infrastructure worldwide. Avaya has been the only vendor having the distinction of being named a Leader for 16 consecutive years. Each year the research organization creates a market view of key players for business users, reflecting business goals, needs, and priorities.

Contact centers have gone beyond phone calls with customers now expecting to communicate on their terms via text, IM, email, chat or video. For the past 16 years Avaya has created seamless and highly personalized experiences, building brand loyalty for companies all around the world.

According to Deloitte, 85% of organizations view customer experience provided through contact centers as a competitive differentiator. Todays companies must remain relevant by creating a single interface to connect customers with the correct resource each time, supporting their preferences. Supervisors and managers need real-time performance information to adapt immediately to situations to ensure optimized customer experience.

Avaya has focused its efforts on creating next-generation contact center solutions, creating communication strategies enabling a continuous transition between channels during customer interactions.

Please visit Gartner’s page to read the full report and see how Avaya’s Contact Center infrastructure continues to deliver best-of-breed Contact Center applications. We look forward to continuing innovation and leading business communications for the digital age.


Seeing into the Office of the Future

Dubai is heavily focused on delivering on its Smart City goals, with the goal of being among the smartest—and happiest—cities in the world. The drive toward smart cities is part of a wider shift, with countries around the globe seeing a migration from rural areas to urban. With more than half the world’s population now living in cities, organizations in the Middle East are facing increasingly difficult decisions about how they allocate resources and manage their workforce.

For a city like Dubai, that can be challenging. Finding the right real-estate location for office space, managing energy usage and providing physical workspaces for employees working different shifts in a modern, 24X7 city creates its fair share of headaches. Enterprises also have to cope with an increasing Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) culture, with smartphone and device penetration especially high in the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries.

We have reached an inflection point where the number of devices connected and generating data is accelerating at an exponential level. Our work environments are beginning to blur, as workspaces are no longer physical but virtual. Organizations need to deliver a consistent work experience whether in an office or on the road, or at home. The key driver is to intuitively connect not only communications devices, but interact with the ambient technologies that surround us, like lighting, BMS and signage.

At Avaya, we believe that the Smart Enterprise is one of the key building blocks for smart cities—and one of the foundations of true Smart Enterprise development will be what we term the Office of the Future. This is about more than just technology; the Office of the Future involves automating work processes within the enterprise to deliver a more intuitive employee experience. As with any “smart” solution, the Office of the Future is only smart if it resolves the challenges it aims to address.

So what do we mean by Office of the Future? Imagine walking into a new office you’ve never visited before and your work station is ready before you sit down, configured to your preferences, right down to the air conditioning settings and digital signage displayed with your identity. When a client arrives to meet you at the office, they can be sent to a meeting room automatically, and you can talk to them on their mobile as you walk to greet them.

With Avaya solutions, the act of an employee booking a workspace would kick start a workflow that immediately sets up that space with all communication devices enabled and connected securely, while interacting with the building management system to ensure the environment was set to the employee’s requirements, everything from lighting to temperature to digital signage. The employee could be identified by their phone or a card ID. When they leave, the workspace can be reset for the next employee that reserves it.

Such Smart workspaces will help enterprises manage their resources more effectively, better leverage their real estate investments, and improve employee well-being and productivity. Here in Dubai, the Office of the Future starts now.