The largest company to adopt “Bring Your Own Device” policy is probably IBM, which recently started a BYOD program for all employees who want to use personal smartphones and/or tablets to do their work. After this first tollerance-step, the company is facing a swamping of insecure apps of open web.
The trend toward employee-owned devices is not helping IBM to reduce spending as they hoped. As stated by Jeanette Horan, IBM’s Chief Information Officer, security risks are raising because IBM is not able to keep under control all popular apps installed on employees’ devices. Furthermore, according to an internal survey IBM found out employees using mobile devices were unaware of potential insecure software and tangible risks. Thus, IBM has introduced new guidelines and rules about which popular web apps employees should avoid to use. On the blacklist of outlaws apps are public file-transfer services such as Dropbox and iPhone’s voice-activated digital assistant named Siri. IBM has banned the digital assistant because the company is worried about the spoken queries might be stored in the big data center in Maiden, North Carolina, to which Siri ships all searches and email messages.
One element of the revisited BYOD program is Lotus Traveler which provides a native client application through which mobile users can tap Lotus email and calendar functionality. IBM is also thinking about the VPN (virtual private network) technology in order to provide greater security and support for more mobile applications. Moreover, all employees’ devices used to access IBM networks are configured by the IT department so that their memories can be erased remotely in any case. As IBM, many companies are facing same growing pains and different surveys from internal departments have shown an increasing demand of “mobile-device management” tools.
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