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BYOD Policy: Don't Reinvent the Wheel

Financial firms still feel overwhelmed by BYOD risks and challenges. But these can be addressed by a good policy, and the guidelines are already out there.

"I am unusual in the security community because I’m pro BYOD,” says Michele Chubirka, network security engineer and blogger on information security trends for Packet Pushers. “Mostly because I think it's inevitable. You're arguing with reality. The concept of pervasive or ubiquitous computing is here. The revolution is over, we won.”

Unfortunately, most financial IT departments haven't figured that out yet. Many companies that would call themselves progressive in adopting BYOD are still not supporting Android devices. “I feel I've gone back in time. It's like there's something about BYOD and mobility that sends them into paralysis.”

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Chubirka spent 13 years working in academia, which she calls the original BYOD environment. “You had to make this stuff work. There is no argument. The students come in every year, and you needed to be ready for the September surprise. You don't know what new device or operating system or hardware they’re coming with, perhaps it’s a drive that doesn’t connect to the network. So you learn to adapt.”

Consider the concept of the extended mind, she says. This is where you identify with the tools you use to complete a task. Tablets and smartphones are tools of cognition now, and what students or employees prefer to use. To forbid the tool and then hand them another phone doesn't seem very efficient or likely to succeed.

[ Read the rest of this article on Wall Street & Technology. ]

Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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8/28/2014 | 4:34:14 PM
re: BYOD Policy: Don't Reinvent the Wheel
Interesting how Chubirka calls academia the "original BYOD environment." Never thought about it that way, but she makes a good point. Granted, students don't handle the vast amount of sensitive information that insurers do, but schools have been adapting to new technologies for years. Could give insurers some ideas about BYOD policy.
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