The worst nightmare for any corporate IT department is a security breach. Most companies have erected firewalls to keep the bad guys from breaking into their network and stealing consumer data or other proprietary information. But there’s another threat to IT security and it comes from within. These days, more employees are using personal mobile devices to get the job done and they're also accessing unauthorized applications via the company network.
A recent Cisco study carried out by InsightExpress found that most companies monitor what their employees are doing online and how they’re doing it. Companies with over 100 employees track the following:
- Which security applications are being run by employees 63%
- Which operating systems are being run by employees 58%
- Which unauthorized applications, such as social networks, are being run 68%
- Which collaborative, yet unauthorized work applications are being run 60%
In addition to running unapproved applications, corporate employees are also connecting smart phones to the corporate network. Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney says "[t]hese smartphones and other devices that are being used, aren't behind the firewall and they're not encrypted so that's a real problem for IT."
Some IT department heads prefer to enforce bans on the use of unauthorized devices or applications. But others say that the youngest generation of workers is demanding access to various applications and wants the convenience of mobile computing. These workers represent an attractive asset to hiring companies who want to keep them happy.
The answer to these problems, as Cisco sees it, is to offer “mobile management and audit solutions.” New mobile management security products will satisfy the risk management need and keep employees happy. More IT vendors may soon be introducing new solutions that address the need for “Borderless Networks”. And these new solutions may lead to additional vendor partnerships and marketing campaigns.[Source: Needle, David. Cisco: Use of Unauthorized Devices a Growing IT Headaches. ESecurityPlanet.com 28 Jun. 2010. Web. 20 Jul. 2010]