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Will BYOD and BYON turn ugly for businesses?

Like a harmless, furry little pet turned into a malcontent gremlin in the movies when rules were ignored, BYOD and BYON can be equally damaging if best practices aren't followed.

Like a harmless, furry little pet turned into a malcontent gremlin in the movies when rules were ignored, BYOD and BYON can be equally damaging if best practices aren't followed.

We were warned not to get the furry little Mogwai wet, and what happened when we did? Gremlins. This made for a classic movie, but if it happened in the real world people would be less inclined to sit back with a bucket of popcorn and have a few laughs.

In this blog, we have discussed the pros and cons of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement. But, now there is a new four-letter trend making headlines: BYON, or bring-your-own-network.

In a recent article for ZDNet, Eric Lai discusses what this is and how it impacts the business world and data security.

"For instance, a worker could be downloading confidential corporate data from a public cloud hosting site like DropBox on his tablet while logging into their corporate network and sharing a public Wi-Fi hotspot with his co-workers," says Lai. "All of this, especially the popularity of public cloud storage sites like DropBox and Box.net, puts corporate data and apps that once resided safely behind the corporate firewall at new risk to malware or hackers."

But, let's backtrack for a minute. We have also discussed at length the ways small and midsize businesses (SMBs) can mitigate risk while taking advantage of BYOD programs, like using mobile device management software. So, why not apply the same principles to BYON?

The truth is, BYOD and BYON are going to be inseparable. They're like Laurel and Hardy or Sunny and Cher – okay, maybe that last one isn't a good example. The point is, when individuals use their personal mobile devices for remote working, they're going to be operating outside company firewalls.

However, with the right SMB IT support and training for employees, organizations can govern what data is accessed remotely, which devices are authorized for use and which networks are safe for conducting company business.

Working back to our Gremlins intro, BYOD and BYON can be perfectly fine for businesses. Just think of poor planning and a lack of guidance for staff members as water on a furry Mogwai. Don't get them wet and they won't turn ugly.