Bring your own device (or BYOD) is real and is happening now in most enterprises. Employees today have their smart phones and are bringing iPads and other tablets to work already. It’s not if, it’s not when, it’s now. What are you doing to protect your network and your company data?
The Pew Internet Project recently reported that ownership of tablets among U.S. adults nearly doubled between mid-December 2011 and early January from 10 percent to 19 percent. According to a Cisco poll of 1,500 decision-making IT workers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain, conducted in late 2011, one tablet is requested for every three smartphones. Workers in the United States and France are asking for them the most at 21 percent. In addition, 64 percent of employees in the United States polled said they were bringing in devices without consent. So the devices are in your enterprise, with or without your knowledge and consent. Are your networks ready? Do you have the correct security policies in place?
With company issued laptops, you can enforce login screens, passwords, encryption and back ups. I personally always turn on the security features available to me on my devices, but how many of those un-authorized devices lack even a basic login screen when the smart phone or tablet is turned on? And the new iPad is just going to make it worse. The iPad2 was already a good device for doing presentation for a road warrior tired of lugging around their laptop (and it looks cooler too), but now the new iPad has an even better display and better graphics. Employees lose laptops. It is pretty common. How much easier is it to lose an iPad? Or get it stolen? What information is on that device? How much company confidential data is now loose in the wild? What data is in their email? What spreadsheets do they have? And confidential presentations?
If you don’t have policies and procedures in place already you are behind… BYOD is in your enterprise already.
I love my Samsung Galaxy Tab, but even I have to admit that the iPad2 is a sexier tablet. The Galaxy Tab was an early release and it doesn’t support Honeycomb (hopefully will in the future, maybe – yeah, I know, not likely). But where are all the new tablets that were hyped last year? The Xoom is out, but crazy expensive with no flash and you have to send it back to get 4G later? Dell is rolling out a couple of lame solutions. Where is HP? LG? The Playbook? The new Galaxy Tabs we are seeing on blogs? Why is everyone rolling over and just giving the market to Apple so far?