In the past, people could only use computers owned and managed by a company, and no one would think of lugging in their personal computers (PC) to use in the company. However, today, many things have become quite different. Many employees use personal devices such as tablets, smart phones, and many other gadgets that promote efficacy in communication.
The use of these handheld devices by the staffs within an organization has provided services as well as a constant connectivity to workers. Despite the merits of new technological devices in a corporation, they are presenting new threats to the corporate assets (Mitchell, 2004).
The employees’ personal devices are causing ongoing concern in most companies concerning information security. For example, there are sensitive corporate information which can easily be transported as well as lost by using these devices. However, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement in most organizations has led to an increasing number of expensive security incidents. The main problem in this case is that most corporations are still relying on the staff personal devices such as personal laptop for business (Loader, & Biggs, 2002).
These ancient devices do not have the same security level than those of the company leading to serious security threats to corporate information. This research proposal will discuss on the use of personal devices within the corporate as well as the security issues associated with the use of these devices (Burke, 2006). The issue of security level has become very problematic to many organizations since the employees using these devices usually jeopardize company security through loss and theft, malware, spam, phishing and Bluetooth (Zachary, 2004).
It is evident that the use of staff personal devices is growing rampantly and affecting the corporate of all sizes. Therefore, the organizations that allow their staff to bring in personal organization in the premises should ensure that there is proper security implemented to control these risks (Quigley, 2008). From the research collected in various organizations, it is indicated that about 93% of the staffs have mobile devices that connect to the corporate networks and 67% allow personal devices to connect to corporate networks. It is also evident that the staff personal devices are causing challenges especially for the corporate IT security department (Mitchell, 2004). Most of the companies that allowed personal devices to access their networks, it was reported that the employees used their own smart phones, tablets, and other devices to handle business information leading to security issues (Zdziarski, 2008). The most common challenge faced by the IT corporations include the security breaches particularly regarding the corporate information, tracking and controlling access to corporate and private networks, and managing personal devices containing the corporate as well as personal data and applications (Relationship and Resource Management in Operations, Securities Institute Operations Management, 2003).
Aim of the Research
The research proposal will discuss the corporation reliance on staff using their personal laptop, smart phones for business purposes. The justification for focusing on this issue is that the employees’ personal devices seem not to possess the same security level like those of the company. The aim of this research paper is to contribute to the understanding of various risks issues that are brought upon by using personal devices within an organization (IFPO, 2010).
Significance of the Research
Most staff members often feel comfortable using their own devices as opposed to using the corporate machines. In the United States of America, about 46% of the businesses are today allowing their staffs to use personally owned PCs (Steinberg, 2007). Several researches in this sector, such as the information technology research and advisory company continue reporting that in the future, employers will require their employees to supply their own devices to be used for business purposes (Lee, & Swartz, 2007). Today, the significance of using personal computers is mainly focuses on the factors of choice and convenience for employees as well as saving costs for the employers. Most corporations rely on the staffs’ personal devices because they cause a significant time shift in the working behavior of the employees (Keyes, 2010). However, some corporations that allow staffs to carry their personal devices in the company have become successful in certain respects (Winch, 2010). For instance, the devices enable employees to conveniently send and reply to emails at any time, and from any location. This particularly applies to situations where the staff members are taken to do a field research by the organization (Reddy, 2010). Personal devices have enabled catching up on emails to be quite easy and fitted with employee performance. By using the devices, employees quickly handle even the most challenging tasks by relying on the personal devices for communication while managers can obtain prompt responses to their enquiries as well (Keyes, 2002).
The other benefit of using personal devices in corporate is that the users will find the devices to be always at hand as compared to big machines implemented within the organizations. Therefore, staff members tend to have ready access to the businesses, personal information as well as check on the organizations latest business figures. The ready access to information offers a greater choice in a way the staff members work (Mahmood & Szewczak, 2010).
Mobility can bring both advantages as well as risks to the corporate. As the staff members bring their personal devices into the workplace, most organizations are motivated to encourage the use of these devices for business purposes because they increase employee productivity within the premises (Lucas, 2012). Personal devices especially the portable ones can give the employees access to the corporate resources and continuous collaboration with business partners. The other advantage of using these devices is that they reduce the IT costs by allowing employees to often pay for their own personal devices rather than rely on the ones provided by the company. Therefore, most companies save IT spending on the device purchases and communication services (Zdziarski, 2008). The research also showed that the use of personal devices for work has become very consistent across all the sampled companies (Winch, 2012). Little variation was seen in the number of businesses claiming that they have personal devices on their corporate networks, from the smallest business, which is about 65 % to the largest 68%.
Corporation reliance on employees using their personal laptops and smart phones would promote productivity as this allows flexibility and mobility (Wolowitz, Tharp, & Rubin, 2010). However, over-reliance on employees’ personal gadgets would compromise the security of corporate data and information. Therefore, the corporate needs to recognize that when the employees connect mobile devices to the organizations systems, the devices must then be treated just like any IT equipment with appropriate security controls (Keyes, 2010). The security issues of these devices should be addressed by the corporate at the outset because the devices used may become a point of security weakness, which threatens to disclose business information. It is evident that most hackers have discovered that the staff members carrying their personal devices to the corporate may have linked both business and personal data within the system (Snoyer, 2004). Therefore, it would be easy for the hackers to get more and more information regarding the corporate. Given that personal devices platforms have not been natively designed to provide comprehensive security, hackers have a strong incentive of developing new techniques or create the mobile-centric malware for the devices (Zdziarski, 2008).
Access to Data
The access of data to this research proposal will be gained by using both the primary and secondary sources. The data will also be collected using interviews and questionnaires for the corporate who allow their workers to bring in their personal devices to the organization. Access to these data will not be conditional because many corporate have for many years endured security issues in regards to allowing the staff to bring in their personal devices to the organization (Burke, 2006).
Ethical Issues In the research
Employees can compromise the security of a corporation by abusing their personal devices in various ways (Schultz, 2006). For instance, they may use these devices for other functions other than the stipulated official purposes. Blogging and spending so much time on social networking sites are other forms of abuse that eat into staff working hours and bring unnecessary costs to the organization (Melky & Harnest, 2010). These issues can be addressed by pre-programming the devices or network proxy for authentication and access control.
Employees who bring their personal computers within the corporate usually do this for personal convenience and they are privy to the fact that they are publicizing their preferences even to hackers. The number of organizations that allow their staff to use their personal devices such as smart phones and iPhones are at an all-time high because these companies tend to give the employees greater say over their used devices. Today, workers on the other hand are also driving the tablet sales and point to tablets as the preferred method of consuming content. Caution should be taken by the corporations and employees to ensure that corporate information is secured away from the reach of hackers.
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