An airtight Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy is crucial for businesses looking to maximize employee productivity yet still maintain safe business practices and protect company secrets. But while some in-house counsel may be scared of using even more technology to combat technology problems, a series of new phone products may help combat BYOD issues.

A phone equipped with “container” technology allows a device to be divided into two different sections, with memory for personal use and memory for work use segmented within the phone’s system. If an employee leaves, the phone-issuing company’s IT department can wipe the work-related data but leave personal data untouched.

Container technology works for a number of different types of devices, including smartphones and tablets. And according to those within the technology industry, it could very well be the next big thing, considering the prevalence of dual work/personal use devices in the marketplace.

“In the end the device, no matter who buys it, will have work and play on it,” said Tom Kemp, chief executive of data management and mobile security company Centrify, to The Wall Street Journal. Kemp believes container technology is “the wave of the future” and will continue to grow as in-house counsel and IT departments recognize its usefulness.

Containers can also be useful in the case of discovery — a company’s lawyers can extract only data housed in the work section of the phone without having to worry about the non-relevant data in the personal section.

Especially in the business world, BYOD is on the rise. According to risk and compliance technology provider Coalfire, 86 percent of mobile users performed both work and personal functions on the same smartphone, while 47 percent of those users said they had no password on their device.

With so many employees using devices for both work and play, one would expect that most companies have strong guidelines governing their information. However, a 2013 Gartner study revealed that only 33 percent of companies have a smartphone-specific BYOD policy in place, while 47 percent of companies have a BYOD policy in place for tablets.


For more on the BYOD revolution, check out the InsideCounsel articles:

How corporations and their employees can combat privacy concerns in the BYOD era

Technology: Embracing the use of mobile devices in e-discovery

Avoiding the worst case scenario: BYOD, gaming and trade secrets

Why GCs need to take a closer look at ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policies

Technology: The impact of digital age innovations on the attorney-client privilege