A Yorkshire-based IT security specialist is urging companies to accept the inevitable and embrace the “Bring Your Own Device” culture, which sees an increasing number of workers linking their Smartphones and iPads into their employer’s systems.
The firm, ITogether, says three out of four employees connect their own personal, handheld devices to their employers IT systems and more than a third expect to have full unfettered access to all their personal online accounts and social networking sites throughout their working day.
ITogether’s advice for employers is “You won’t beat them, so join them.” It says companies should use blogs and sites like Facebook and Twitter as a means of building bridges with employees and should only block access from its systems to offensive or illegal content.
It warns that blocking sites like Facebook and Twitter is difficult to control and makes staff disgruntled.
Instead, it says firms should make sure their networks are secure and have effective security policies.
“Be clear on the rules and enforce them,” says ITogether. “Having a security policy is useless if it is not socialised and enforced across your organisation.
“Why not use social media to spread the word of what is and what isn’t OK?”
ITogether warns that two out of five employers in Yorkshire and the North East that encourage use of personal accounts and social networking sites in the workplace haven’t made sure their networks are secure.
But it stresses adds that studies it has carried out show that equipping workers with the latest smart devices improves motivation, makes them feel valued and increases company loyalty.