Consumerisation doesn't have to impact on security

Some older school IT bosses may believe the consumerisation of enterprise IT devices has been an unnecessary headache in recent years, particularly when it’s overlapped the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in our mythical Venn diagram representing the needs of the modern workforce.

Securing a device which, at first glance, would appear to have eschewed security considerations to accommodate slick functionality whether laptop, tablet or smartphone is something that would not have happened in yesteryear. IT departments and sociopathic managers had the company on lockdown. If you were lucky you might get to play minesweeper or snake.

The current need for ubiquitous internet connectivity has brought its own problems, whether an office ultrabook is accessing a network on the move or a member of the sales team is opening an important work email on their new smartphone.

One of the technologies which will help navigate through these testing times will be when chip makers can embed security into the hardware at chip level, something that shouldn't be too far away with Intel's acquisition of McAfee and their move into the smartphone and tablet market.

Embedded security will have to be a necessity when the 'Internet of Things' finally happens. And why stop at devices? Since end users are the biggest security risk and insider threats a major concern for your organisation, it won't be long until the next generation of sociopathic bosses demand embedded security in their own staff.

A comedic version of this dystopian future was hinted at in a recent episode of cartoon South Park. The people of the town, worried that their new home security systems might not be enough of a match for burglars, placed personal alarm systems inside themselves to be triggered whenever they did not feel safe. This resulted in constant false alarms as the INsecurity devices were triggered by their own insecurities.

Consumerisation of devices used in the enterprise does not necessarily mean such devices are a security threat to the company – for a start they are probably far less of a risk than the person actually using them. The relevant security tools and enterprise app stores are there to make sure employees can do their jobs without compromising corporate data. So instead of implanting your staff with a Xeon processor, who not try and systematically implant some security basics into them – like how to create secure and memorable passwords, or actually run through real data leak scenarios with company staff?


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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