Embracing Employee – Acquired Smartphones Without Compromising Security

This article was first published in Diary of a Geek on April 20, 2011

EspionageIf your capacity as an IT professional involves dealing with people in your office going on the road with mobile devices and bemoaning policies that keep them from accessing the company’s network because of pesky security protocols, then my heart goes out to you. It’s rough trying to balance the legitimate needs of a staff trying to maximize its ability to get a job done and the often bureaucratic rigamarole of office directives that seem to be counterproductive to what should be a goal shared with that same staff. People want to work smarter, not harder, and being part of a team should support — not stifle — that goal.

In the past decade (and especially in just the past few short years), the mobile phone has become more common among the general population and less of a company-issued “perk” — and, therefore, less under the reign of strict policies that your company may have instated in the past regarding the use of such devices. It just makes sense that you, as an IT professional in charge of enforcing the integrity of your company’s security initiatives, want to be kept up to date on your options with an ever-changing set of rules in an ever-changing game. So when on-the-go people at the office increasingly voice a desire to use their own smartphones to take part in mission critical (but top secret) company communication, how do you embrace the use of employee-acquired smartphones without compromising security? BlackBerry may not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of smartphones today, but it inarguably has more experience in the field than many of its contemporary contenders. So when BlackBerry has an opinion on the matter and offers free advice to IT professionals who have an ear to listen (well, in this case, an eye to read. Maybe even two of them), you may find it worth your while to see what the company has to say.


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