Opinion

Should employers leave staff to their own smart devices?

Interesting story today about the failure of employers to come to terms with the way employees are connecting to corporate networks with their own mobile devices. According to Tom DeLaughter, CEO of Mformation Technologies (and no, he's not joking), 76% of CIOs are worried about the security issues posed by employee-owned mobile devices but 78% don't know which devices are connecting to the network.

DeLaughter argues smart devices, such as iPads and iPhones, are going to be a fact of life with the consumerisation of IT and corporates need to acknowledge that fact and adapt accordingly. He warns that if employers try to lock them out, determined employees will find 'backdoors' and create security risks in the process.

It says something about employees' attachment to their own smart devices that they are prepared to go to the length of compromising corporate security to be able to use them for work. But it also says something about the quality of IT products provided to them by their employers that they try so hard to use their own smart devices.  

Common sense would dictate it makes more sense to concentrate on incorporating employee-owned devices into the workplace than shutting them out and forcing people to use devices they don't want. Sadly, common sense and corporate networks don't always go together, especially if it costs more than the option of doing nothing.

This was first published in March 2011

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