Biztech Aug 8, 2012
The results of a study released today by Lieberman Software Corporation confirms that BYOD (bring your own device) increases costs to businesses. Respondents were asked if they believed allowing employees to connect their own devices (such as USB drives, mobile phones, portable PCs and home computers) to the corporate network increased costs – with 67 percent saying that it did increase costs.
When asked what caused the organisation the biggest headache, almost half (43 percent) cited an employee device introducing a virus; more than a quarter (26 percent) pointed the finger at employees losing a device, with employees stealing data the biggest concern for 22 percent of respondents.
The survey was carried out by Lieberman Software of nearly 250 IT professionals in London. These IT professionals are at the front lines of protecting organisations - having to balance the desires of the workforce for flexible and convenient working practices, against the organisations’ requirement for reliable yet secure communications.
Philip Lieberman, President and CEO of privileged identity management software vendor Lieberman Software, believes the BYOD wave is being driven by companies, such as Apple, pushing their products as corporate ready or compatible – even if they’re not. He says, “We’ve been here before. 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. 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.”
The core of enterprise trust and authentication has been in-house enterprise identity management with the use of fat clients (i.e. Microsoft Windows) and web browsers that provide integrated authentication of corporate credentials. In the case of many government users, this is further strengthened by the use of smartcard standards such as CAC and PIV.
Lieberman explained, “In today's consumer-owned devices, the ability to adopt and sustain enterprise access and revocation controls is non-existent or impaired. In an effort to meet the demand of BYOD, enterprises are being forced to employ soft certificates with diminished security. While end-users might love the convenience, a lost or compromised device can fast become a nightmare for the CIO. Make sure you understand what you’re opening the organisation up to when you allow, or even encourage, your workforce to bring their own devices.”
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