The convenience and ubiquity of wirless internet access ensures that an ever-increasing number of people have a tablet, smartphone or other personal electronic device with them just about everywhere they go. And using those tools in the performance of everyday workplace tasks has become so common that we have an acronym for it: BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. While many employers are doubtless thrilled about potentially spending less to equip their employees, however, BYOD can have serious unintended consequences, as key enterprise data migrates to potentially unsecured personal devices.
IT governance group ISACA has been preaching about the potential dangers of BYOD, with all of its attendant security loopholes, for quite some time. Now the group will be evangelizing for improved BYOD controls at a special online conference next month. Mobile Security: Overcoming Obstacles, Reducing Risk, a one-day event, will be held Sept. 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern). The event, which is free and open to the public, will emphasize the importance of protecting proprietary information by developing security protocols to govern the use of personal devices in a workplace environment.
ISACA’s international president, Robert E. Stroud, said in a press release announcing the event that it’s time for enterprises to acknowledge the risks of personal mobile devices and make plans to implement mobile security controls. “Mobile devices continue to blur work and personal lines, and securing enterprise IT has become more complex than ever in this mobile environment,” said Stroud. “Enterprises can benefit from the many conveniences employees are enjoying with BYOD, if they understand it, plan for it and have effective strategies in place.”
Gaps in enterprise mobile security, ISACA contends, can be addressed in part by working through a series of steps:
- Incorporate mobile security into existing data protection processes.
- Ensure mobile devices meet corporate compliance standards.
- Determine acceptable use cases for file sync.
- Define bring your own device (BYOD) management must-haves.
Stroud himself will make a special presentation at the conference, “The State of Enterprise Mobile Security,” and other presentations will address syncing and sharing files securely, integrating a mobile security policy in overall data protection protocols, and effectively managing the use of personal mobile devices.
ISACA reports that it can comfortable host several thousand attendees at the event. Advance registration is available online.