CloudA recent survey by Tech Pro Research found that approximately 74% of organizations allow workers to bring their own device to the office. As well as saving the company money, the "Bring Your Own Device" initiative allows today’s professionals to work at anytime, anywhere, whilst having a positive impact on worker output. Great! 

With mobility comes great responsibility...

Growing mobility through BYOD can result in a large data security risk in the case of a personal device being lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair. With this in mind, it is especially worrying that the leading cause of data loss is human error, with faulty hardware coming in close second as a contributor. A problem also arises when an employee resigns; most companies report difficulties revoking access to their IT infrastructure due to BYOD, leaving some data wide out in the open beyond company control. 

You’re probably feeling pretty negative about using your own laptop for work right now. However, perhaps the real issue here lies in the method of data transfer and storage. In 2013, the Ministry of Justice misplaced an un-encrypted hard drive containing the records of a large number of inmates at a prison in Wiltshire. As a result, all data on the drive would have been fully accessible to the finder. They were fined an uncomfortable £180,000.

A silver lining?

Cloud collaboration tools create a secure platform that acts as a middle-man between your files and your device. That means no need for taking up personal storage space with company data or needing to use external storage devices such as USB dongles which can easily be misplaced. Furthermore, cloud providers often have a disaster recovery plan in place to combat data loss, so you won’t end up like the Ministry of Justice. This rectifies the security issue of ex-employees; cloud accounts can simply be deleted and their data restricted. 

Aside from the mobility and security benefits, cloud computing gives users control over documents, allowing more than one person to work on a document at a time and displaying the latest version rather than to-ing and fro-ing via email. Uploading files to a cloud storage service means all data is kept in one secure location. Most platforms allow you to create groups or folders for different projects for easy organisation, and provide automatic alerts to all members when something changes within these. 

So there we have it; you can wave goodbye to the risky task of keeping company documents on a device you bring with you on your commute, and not worry about tiny fingers accidentally deleting all your data at home.

Over 80% of companies now use cloud-based applications in the office.