As many as 45% of companies in the US encourage employees to “bring-your-own-device” to work in order to keep employees mobile, satisfied and productive. According to a recent BYOD Security Report, a further 31% of companies are evaluating BYOD as a means of enhancing productivity despite the risks associated with security.
The pitfalls of BYOD are numerous – ranging from a lack of security on personal mobile devices to apps containing malware being innocently downloaded onto the devices. The risk of a mobile device being lost or stolen is a primary concern (apparently 22% of all mobile devices will be lost or stolen during their lifetime), yet only 24% of respondents to the BYOD Security Report said that the use of personal mobile devices in the workplace is supported by a BYOD policy.
The report continues that 67% of respondents are concerned about BYOD data breaches, while 57% were also worried about unauthorized access to company data and systems. The threat is substantially higher for those in the healthcare industry, where the threat of substantial financial penalties increases because of the potential compromise of confidential patient data.
It is estimated that 72% of physicians and 71% of nurses use smartphones in the course of their work and BYOD data breaches are likely to be an ongoing occurrence without measures in place to protect the integrity of protected health information (PHI). Healthcare organizations can address the pitfalls of BYOD with the implementation of a secure messaging solution and policies to ensure the confidentiality of personal information.
Secure messaging solutions limit the opportunity for data breaches by encapsulating confidential data within a secure network. The solution features controls to prevent the forwarding, saving or copying and pasting of PHI. All-access to confidential patient data is monitored and logged every time an authorized user logs into the secure platform to access PHI. Secure messaging solutions often contain features such as remote wipe or message lifespan to ensure PHI is not stored or accessed on mobile devices, even if they’re lost or stolen.
Secure messaging solutions keep employees “mobile, satisfied and productive” by working in the same way as familiar texting or IM apps, only with a time-out feature to prevent unauthorized access to PHI when a personal mobile device is left unattended. For more information about how secure messaging solutions can ease BYOD fears, please refer to our “features” page, or contact us to request a free demonstration of TigerText in action.
Unfortunately, secure messaging solutions alone will not resolve all the fears of BYOD data breaches. Organizations need to create and uphold policies to manage mobile devices and their usage. Healthcare organizations must take proper steps to create safeguards that ensure the security of PHI in case of a breach or misuse of information by employees.