Enterprise control of mobile devices vs. employee ownership
A recent survey on mobile workforce security confirmed what we've known for a long time. Giving your mobile employees notebooks and smartphones is like giving your teenaged kids the keys to the car: once they're out the door, there's nothing you can do about what they do.
A majority of the 450 IT managers surveyed by management software vendor BigFix say they believe the mobile workforce makes their enterprise networks more susceptible to malware and other threats. And in some cases, these IT managers think their existing systems management tools have contributed to mobile devices falling victim to a worm or virus.
Even more personal than the personal computer, handheld computers and smartphones (and even iPods) are also even more dependent on both the corporate network and intervening provider networks. So far, enterprise networks are ill-prepared to secure and manage the devices themselves, the data on them, or their access to corporate networks.
The issues in the argument are complex: end-user behaviors and habits, securing data on the devices, protecting the devices from malware infections, protecting the data on them if they're lost or stolen, monitoring data copying or file transfers to USB devices, streamlining access to the corporate network, integrating them with Network Access Control (NAC) products. Right now, companies have to stitch together an array of third-party software products and appliances to address this complexity.
This is one argument where the solution seems to be to find the common ground that makes a comprehensive solution possible. John Cox