Traditionally, office environment has been designed on a rigid architecture where despite having varying specialties, all the employees are provided with basically the same gear. Though that worked well in those times when technology wasn’t a thing, employees accessed computers only in the office, and consequently IT department had to manage them all. But as much as technology has evolved in the last few years, employees are increasingly getting tech-savvy with multiple devices at their disposal and proficiency in all of them.
In such cases, it makes little sense for businesses to dominate the technical aspects through IT department while the entire operations could be much better handled by employees.
Especially, since the rise of mobile devices and empowering mobile apps, the boundaries of office space have long collapsed, enabling employees to access from anywhere on any device. It is these two changes that have brought forward the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy that is quickly gaining traction due to the two obvious benefits it offers- 1. Offers employees the liberty to work remotely; 2. Offers them the convenience to work on the device of their choice.
Not only is this change beneficial for employees, but employers also have a lot to gain when they gain the control over their work environment. The two most immediate ones are- 1. Lower maintenance and training costs; 2. Higher productivity. And as much as most of the businesses go, these are the two most important metrics in which they measure the feasibility of this decision.
So, while it is clear that letting your employees have the control of work environment is a win-win situation, it doesn’t mean the approach is completely flawless.
The single most import concern in such cases is the security of data. In a traditional work environment where employers are in complete control of their IT depart, every technical aspect is managed by domain-experts who leave little room for security breaches or data leakages. But with employees taking the control, no matter how tech-savvy they are, such security measures simply can’t be expected. While the common protocols like strong passwords, VPNs can be easily adopted by them, employers must deploy an additional layer of security if they wish to preserve the confidentiality of their data.
The most common of such measures that most of the businesses deploy is the 2-factor authentication (2FA). It means that along with the regular user identification and password mechanisms, they would also require an additional passcode to access the data. These passcodes are generated for each session and remain valid only for a specified period of time.
Traditionally, such passcodes were generated through physical tokens that employers gave to each of their employees. But due to additional overhead of carrying and maintaining such tokens, passcodes are now generated through devices they already carry, i.e., mobile phones. That means if they try to access business data through their valid credentials, a passcode is sent to their mobile device and only when it is verified, they can access the data. This means, even if a hacker gains access to all the user credentials of all your employees, they still can’t access any of your data.
While this approach is indeed secure, there is still a chance that the employees do not have their mobile phones with them at any certain time. To bypass such issues, app developers have now started to take an entirely different route- biometrics.
As the technology gets cheaper and widely accessible, most these authentication procedures are slowing moving towards biometrics and app development companies in India are known to create such elegant products at highly affordable prices. So, if you want your business to prosper in this mobile-driven world, let your employees take control and all you have to do is provide them a secure environment.