Personal devices pose a difficult challenge to IT departments and it’s not just iPhones/personal cell phones; mp3/music players, portable video/game consoles, personal laptops and just about anything with an internet connection or USB hookup can pose a risk. The age of social networks, streaming video, tele-work lifestyle and the basic computing power of mobile devices have made them constant companions in our daily lives since they do more than just make calls. We have grown personally attached to these mini-computers (even customizing them) and don’t want to carry around 3 different mobile devices. Employees now want to use their own devices for work related tasks.
Work Styles have changed also. Employees are now more dispersed: Different time/different location, Same time/different location, Same time/same location or working alone. While this model has enabled employees to work from anywhere, the need for collaboration has become critical especially with a global enterprise. What can you do? Don’t panic, as indicated in this article by Kim Boatman (hope I Linkedin the correct journalist) called Personal Tech Checklist for the Workplace. She has a checklist of steps IT can take when dealing with personal tech issues:
Establish or re-evaluate usage policies. Many businesses wrote Internet usage policies a decade or so ago and haven’t revisited them.
Evaluate how you expect employees to use – or not use – social networking. After all, there can be a business benefit to your employees’ presence on Facebook or Twitter.
Inventory employees and equipment. Keep track of the level of access granted to each employee.
Understand the security implications of your policy. For instance, says Storms, allowing employees to install proprietary information on their personal devices is a high-risk proposition, while permitting access to social networking sites at work is less risky.
Educate users. It’s not enough simply to establish plain-language guidelines. If you want employee buy-in, explain why certain actions are limited and what the consequences could be.
Involve IT. It makes good sense to vet policies and practices through the people that keep your systems going.
Give yourself wiggle room. Create that clear usage policy, explain it, and publicize it. But give yourself leeway.
- #16 out of 26 Short Topics about Security
- previous stories: 15, 14, 13.5, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1