PHS Datashred undertakes research into ‘Bring your own device’ trend at work

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Companies are risking criminal attack by failing to implement suitable policies to manage the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in the workplace.

PHS Datashred
A BYOD policy needs to be a common place item in employee handbooks across the UK

PHS Datashred is embarking on a research programme this summer with IT professionals and HR professionals to introduce standardised guidance for companies struggling to get to grips with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in the workplace.

It warns that companies are risking criminal attack by failing to implement suitable policies to correctly manage the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend.

BYOD is where companies let employees use personal smartphones or tablets to access company applications in order to boost productivity.

BYOD first entered business lexicon in 2009, courtesy of Intel when it recognised an increasing tendency among its employees to bring their own devices to work and connect them to the corporate network.

However, it took until early 2011 before the term achieved any real prominence when IT services provider Unisys and software vendors started to highlight the issue.

Anthony Pearlgood, managing director of data destruction company PHS Datashred, said:

“Many companies in Britain are looking at BYOD as a way to increase productivity and motivate employees by providing a more flexible, mobile workforce. It’s being pushed by HR managers in SME’s and major corporates but there are significant security risks.

Organisations that allow employees to use their own device should havesome kind of formal policy. If not, they open themselves up to many risks including theft, hacking, data protection breaches and spying by competitors.

“The BYOD trend looks set to continue as more organisations see the benefit of cloud based systems and tablet devices to improve productivity and profitability. A BYOD policy needs to be a common place item in employee handbooks across the UK and we’re planning a study into the issue looking at the introduction of standardised guidance for companies on data protection in the workplace.”

PHS Datashred, which provide a secure shredding service, offers five top tips for companies thinking of introducing ‘BYOD’ for their employees:

1)    Set up a process for handling a lost or stolen device
2)    Decommission the device safely and securely when a user switches to a new device
3)    Provide and insist on professional anti-malware and virus protection
4)    Have a clear policy and process for dealing with viruses if they happen
5)    Ensure devices are password encrypted

Facts about PHS Datashred and the PHS Group

  •     PHS Group was established in 1963 and is now one of the largest workplace service providers in the UK
  •     In June 2001, PHS Group plc began trading on the London Stock Exchange in what was one of the biggest flotations of the year
  •     At flotation, the company was valued at £414 million. In September 2001 it was admitted to the FTSE 250 index
  •     In September 2005 the PHS Group was de-listed from the Stock Market, reverting to private ownership by Charterhouse in an acquisition valued at £600 million
  •     PHS Group employs almost 5,000 staff, has over 100 branches in UK and Europe and provides services to over 250,000 customers
  •     Annual turnover, for the year ending March 2010, was £355.6m

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Peter Davies
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