Friday, June 22, 2012

BYOD - unchaining the workforce

Fortinet briefed me earlier this week on the worldwide BYOD survey they conducted. BYOD is getting a lot of airtime this year and I have honestly been a fan of BYOD for decades if you consider a home PC with a dial-up modem to be a computing device sharing personal and professional uses. I’m not even sure the trend should be called Bring Your Own Application. Sure, the virtualization people love that, but it does not capture the spirit of being able to access applications from anywhere, whenever it is most convenient. There is no question that mobile devices – phones and tablets – are driving the trend along with the easy availability of cloud-based applications. But for now let me stick with BYOD. Anyway, Fortinet does a lot of really good security things in high performance devices. The BYOD trend truly amplifies the need for next generation application security in the network which aligns with Fortinet’s business. It certainly makes sense – you cannot expect a personal device to have all of the security protections that an IT-controlled PC would have. Organizations should be looking at next-gen capability to help free the workforce. The survey of 3872 people between the ages of 20 and 29 was pretty interesting. I loved the fact that 66% of respondents selected “I am ultimately responsible” when questioned about the security of their personal device used for business. That is a healthy response and, correlating with questions about data and application security, encourages me that new approaches to security that maintain user freedoms will be well received. I also liked how Fortinet articulates how personal and business lives remain largely separated (40% chose this first) with social networking applications, but drops as the applications become more focused (email at 23%). My least favorite question was “Of the following what do you think are the greatest risks TO YOUR ORGANISATION if you use your own devices in work, or for work?” The leading response at 46% was “Potential for greater time-wasting on personal activities during work hours”. To me, this is not the job of security, cannot be a compelling purchase criteria for security, and the thought of positioning security as cracking down on users scares me. I was surprised that only 42% chose “Potential for greater exposure to IT threats and the theft/loss of confidential data” – I expected that to be number one. A thought provoking survey by Fortinet – always a good thing!

No comments:

Post a Comment