Are firms 'such as Apple' to blame for BYOD security headaches?
You can’t swing a cat at the moment without hitting someone saying something about bring your own device (BYOD), and this week is no different, with a UK tech security firm casting a doubting shadow over BYOD’s cost-saving and security credentials.
UK security and identity management specialist Lieberman Software has laid the blame for sleepless nights and bitten nails of IT managers everywhere squarely at the feet of consumer device manufacturers.
The firm suggested that over two thirds of tech professionals in London believe that BYOD is a route to increased costs. Just under a quarter felt the opposite, with 10% sat on the fence.
When asked what caused the organization the biggest headache, 43% of respondents cited an employee device introducing a virus; more than a quarter pointed the finger at employees losing a device, and 22% said employees stealing data was the biggest concern.
It’s worth noting that any new telecoms implementation is going to increase costs in the short term; the savings, security and process efficiency that BYOD proponents extol can only, if at all possible, result as part of a well planned and tightly governed mobility strategy that should negate many of these concerns.
However, the BYOD trend is being driven, the company’s president and CEO Philip Lieberman claimed, by device manufacturers, ‘such as Apple’, pushing their products out into the consumer market as enterprise ready or compatible, even if they’re not.
Essentially, while users increasingly come to expect the same level of design, user interface and general coolness in their enterprise technology as they get from their personal devices, the controls and security aren’t there yet, despite what they say.
“We’ve been here before,” he said. “It’s the same classic back door sales process used to promote PCs in the 1980s, where the large IT shops controlled both the glass house and what was on the desktops.
“Back then users and managers would show how PCs were better, faster and more flexible than the ‘stone age’ solutions offered by IT,” he added.
“Ultimately IT was forced to adopt PCs as their corporate standard. The new twist today is that the interlopers are devices that will always be owned by the consumer, not the company.”