BYOD is more than a cost-saving exercise for enterprises. It’s key to building a working environment befitting of the modern employee. CIOs can be at the heart of this process and play a crucial role in employee enfranchisement and productivity improvements – but only if they appreciate the fine lines that must be trodden.
Millennials actively seek employers with workplace values that are different and distinct to those of previous generations. Financial security is no longer enough; millennials seek a healthy work-life balance, to such an extent that many enterprises now offer the policies and technology for employees to work remotely on a regular basis.
BYOD has become integral to both the retained and freelance elements of the modern enterprise’s workforce. It encapsulates and underpins the flexibility, employer trust and access that millennials appreciate. In many ways it is even expected.
But the improved productivity that BYOD delivers is undermined if accompanied by overbearing security and authentication policies. Enterprises therefore need to establish a balance between securing their data on employees’ personal devices and not creating friction with the user experience. The promise of BYOD – especially to discerning millennials – is usability and familiarity. Obstructive security measures will quickly poison the benefits of BYOD.
At Synchronoss, we understand that authentication has a simple requirement – to stop illicit access to an employer’s network. But as threats have grown in number and sophistication, authentication measures have had to evolve too. Access to a device via a user name and a single password has long since developed to needing more and more pieces of unique identifying information, including even biometrics. But each addition multiplies authentication complexity, and when combined with the increased likelihood of forgetfulness, access is restricted not protected.
Rather than adding more layers to authentication, we believe the answer lies in contextual analytics. Contextual authentication works by recording the way in which an individual uses a device – usage patterns, locations, times of day, most frequently used apps, Wi-Fi networks connected to, proximity to other mobile devices etc. From this, a personal pattern is built, as unique as the user’s fingerprint and subsequently allowing enterprises to build risk profiles.
The replacement of manually identification in favor of contextual authentication will significantly reduce end-user friction without surrendering the security of the enterprise’s data – and the promise of BYOD is restored.
Through Synchronoss’ work with Goldman Sachs and our newly launched Secure Mobility Platform, we know how important it is for today’s modern enterprise to encapsulate productivity and security to maintain its competitive advantage and retain new talent. While it is believed that the two cannot co-exist, as we use data more intelligently, contextual analytics prevents user experience being compromised by security, allowing enterprises to provide the working environment that the modern worker requires.
Find out more about how BYOD can support staff retention and what steps enterprises need to take to ensure security doesn’t undermine productivity in my latest article for Enterprise Apps Tech.