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The Good & Bad Of BYOD
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Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
4/6/2015 | 1:12:35 PM
The future for BYOD,
There are lots of issues BYOD continues to raise, but there is no turning back on the fact that mobility has forever changed data security. Could't agree with the author more!: Ignore BYOD at your peril!
User Rank: Ninja
4/6/2015 | 11:45:29 AM
Re: Risk vs Reward
I have to agree.  I have yet to see a convincing risk-v-benefit report about BYOD that is based upon facts.

Recently, I was provided a BYOD analogy by a business manager who used to be a pilot.
He posed the analogy as a question: "Would you have any concerns if you knew your airline pilot was using his personal computer to manage the aircraft avionics controls instead of the computer that was built into the aircraft?"

Before I could respond, he stated "H*** yes, you should have a concern!  If you ever saw what some pilots I know have downloaded to their personal computers, you would not want to fly with them even if they didn't use their personal computer for flying."

I am still digesting that one...  but there is a hint of the real issue. 

A matter of trust.

Organizations still have a challenge maintaining trust of the very systems they provide to their users, for many reasons.  BYOD almost demands an organization throw trust out the window.  This is especially true for regulatory and sensitive data handling where one bad apple can ruin the entire barrel. 

I believe there is a future for BYOD, but I am not completely convinced we are at a broad maturity level in data security to provide the necessary trust an organization MUST have for a BYOD system to handle its sensitive data. 

Moreover, it isn't just the devices...  BYOD or not, users commonly demonstrate an apparent lack of concern about data security practices and procedures.  For me, this is the bigger problem.
User Rank: Strategist
4/6/2015 | 9:17:48 AM
Risk vs Reward
"While embracing BYOD can certainly increase risks" - is there any research that can tell us the rewards the organizations are getting while taking on the risk of BYOD?
User Rank: Apprentice
4/5/2015 | 10:06:12 AM
Good Article...
Thanks for the article. I generally agree with it but I have a few comments...

I think we should cut Hillary some slack here because things have changed since she became Secretary of State in 2009. First, 6 years in technology (smartphones, tablets,...) is a lifetime. Secondly, anyone who talks about how insecure her private mail server must have been is ignoring how dreadful the security of computers and systems is in the Department of State. Google "State Department email security" and follow that trail — it makes a private email server seem almost intelligent. (I am being half serious here, but it is true.)

BYOD has trended for a number of years. During that time add-on security packages have arisen with the goal of providing the enterprise greater control over their mobile devices. Those solutions are generally derided by the users. During that time, the vendors of these devices have continued to sediment various security capabilities into their off-the-shelf phones and tablets. Today's smartphone comes with advanced features to remote wipe, locate and otherwise avoid compromise of a lost cell phone that has sensitive email and contact lists on it... Its a big improvement over what we had 3 years ago, and improvements should be expected to continue. 

The basic issue — even before we talk about BYOD — is that the idea of a real and effictive network perimeter in enterprises is really quite dead. It took a mortal wound the first time we opened up a port of our firewalls. We have taken what used to be internal services like email and intranet sites and expressed these directly to the Internet. The world is different because we needed to work from anywhere and at any time. The boundaries of the enterprise are dead, and the idea that you could only access enterprise owned data with an enterprise owned device is probably close to dead as you report. Cost savings are only part of that story.

So, what's missing? Actual data protection. We seem to protect sensitive files where they reside (at rest) and when we ship them around (in motion, usually using TLS). What we don;t do is individually protect sensitive files using a combination of encryption and business rules (or access controls, or DRM, etc.)

This is important because it provides each sensitive file with individul controls (versus whole disk encrytion) which makes wholesale theft (ala Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden) impossible. 

But it is still a young industry and data governance is only starting to get the attention sensitive and valuable data deserves.


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