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Planning for the future of mobility: A BYOD guide for enterprise CIOs

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Policies for BYOD: Readers talk back about mobility, security

Establishing policies for BYOD remains a top priority for CIOs, according to SearchCIO readers in our latest CIO Chatter.

In SearchCIO's recent mobility-themed tweet jam, we asked participants, "Are BYOD policies a major concern for...

CIOs or a fizzling priority?" With bring-your-own-device programs more prevalent than ever, we didn't want to limit the conversation solely to the Twitter-sphere, so we asked SearchCIO readers the same question about policies for BYOD in our tweet jam recap.

BYOD momentum is gathering. Consumerization demands it.

What's clear from all this chatter is that IT teams are certainly thinking about developing policies around employees' access to work data on their personal devices. In our recap poll, 73% of readers categorized developing policies for BYOD as a major concern. Among their comments:

  • "CIOs need to be concerned about BYOD to insure that they are keeping up with all of the devices being used, the new data formats that need to be managed and possibly the most important aspect: keeping their data safe."
  • "It is a major concern, but maybe also an opportunity to start thinking differently about security. We do not allow BYOD unless a user completed a security course relevant to such devices. Then analyze and plan."
  • "BYOD momentum is gathering. Consumerization demands it -- and ever-growing cost concerns ensure most have to take it seriously."

Simply put: Consumerization demands it. But, that's not to say that making policies for BYOD will go off without a hitch. Here's what others said:

  • "I feel that the demarcation of not only ownership but responsibility/liability ought to be delineated clearly in BYOD policy. Regarding devices, it's reasonable to have baseline requirements, especially security measures. For instance, I just heard that Samsung actually has an app/mechanism that allows for a 'dual-personality' phone. I think that tech manufactures are sensing a market opportunity that warrants close observation in the near future. In the face of changing technology, it may be prudent to present a short-term policy in the context of a long-term BYOD vision."
  • "Not only should it be a major concern, [but everyone] should appreciate business objectives that lean toward compliance. Security and existence of a business should not be sacrificed for convenience and trend."

More on policies for BYOD

CIO Decisions e-zine: BYOD security policies

Should CIOs hire a chief mobility officer?

If CIOs aren't going to implement policies for BYOD in order to appease employees with their prized smartphones glued to their palms, they should at least enact policies to safeguard their company's confidential data while the organization works to develop a broader BYOD strategy. Time is of the essence: Executive boards are reportedly telling IT to get to it:

  • "Direction is coming from board level -- pretty hard to ignore."
  • "BYOT [bring your own technology] will continue to be a priority for businesses. Developing and implementing a complete mobile strategy is key to ensuring BYOT success."

Do you have more to add about policies for BYOD? Answer our poll and sound off in the comment section below.

Let us know what you think about the story; email editor@searchcio.com.

This was last published in April 2013

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Essential Guide

Planning for the future of mobility: A BYOD guide for enterprise CIOs

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Are you working on a policy for BYOD at your organization?
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The problem, IMO, is that everybody wants everything and nobody wants to pay for it. You can generalize this principle pretty far before going wrong, but WRT the security topics under discussion here, there never seems to be enough budget to implement adequate security measures, and when there is, there's seldom sufficient budget or will or follow-through to enforce them. Sorry for all the cliches, but there's no free lunch.

Dual-identity devices, like the Samsung phones mentioned in this article, offer some promise, as does software that manages identities, like persona management in Horizon Workspace. There's also a reasonable question as to what data should be accessible from what devices, and by whom.

Is anybody reading this old enough to remember Kim Philby? You know, the guy who used to have Snowden's apartment in Moscow? If you have someone like that working for you, you have serious problems that money won't solve, but at least you can make it hard to get large amounts of data at a time or store it on a device. If you make him take photographs of individual screens instead of transferring TB with a thumb drive, you can at least slow him down.

For some interesting reading, see your own link http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/video/BYOD-at-the-NSA-Maybe-someday-with-mobile-hardware-root-of-trust and this paper, which you might want to feature here: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/vmware-horizon-view-byod-federal-secure-desktop.pdf. It addresses the topic in an unusually straightforward manner.
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