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SYOD, Not BYOD, for Information Security

As ever more powerful and convenient mobile devices proliferate, employees want to use their favorite tools for working. The result? "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) has swept into the workplace.

But while employees may find happiness using their beloved personal devices both at home and work, information technology (IT) departments and security-conscious managers have found BYOD to be the stuff of nightmares. A tablet left at an airport provides the finder direct access into company strategies and networks. A stolen smartphone reveals confidential client information to the thief. Less-protected devices introduce damaging viruses and worms into otherwise secure networks.

Despite these risks, employers trying to push back against BYOD have encountered severe resistance from employees loathe to surrender the productivity and convenience of their favorite devices.

Enter SYOD: "Select Your Own Device," the experts' solution to the problem. SYOD preserves the convenience of the personal device, while restoring IT-managed control over network access and security. Instead of allowing employees to bring their own devices, employers purchase a variety of mobile devices and allow their employees to select their personal favorites for personal and work use, but the devices remain company-owned. Employers gain control over business assets, security and compliance with privacy laws, while employees are provided access to the latest and greatest mobile technology. Employees don't have to carry two devices, because IT can partition the employer-provided devices to allow secure business tools and data to be stored separately from personal usage. Upon leaving the company, an employee must return the device, so there is no fear that a device loaded with confidential information is walking out the door.

If mobile devices are a key component of your workplace, now is the time to consider replacing BYOD with SYOD. And don't forget to schedule time with your trusted agent to be certain your current insurance properly considers the risks of loss both to and from this shift from desktop to handheld computing.

©2013 Selective Ins. Group, Inc. (Branchville, NJ). "Selective" insurers include Selective Ins. Co. of America, Selective Ins. Co. of New England, Selective Ins. Co. of N.Y., Selective Ins. Co. of South Carolina, Selective Ins. Co. of the Southeast, Selective Way Ins. Co., Selective Cas. Ins. Co, Selective Fire and Cas. Ins. Co and Selective Auto Ins. Co. of N.J. Insurers and products available vary by jurisdiction.