An incredible 92 per cent of employees in China can take advantage of BYOD, but in the UK less than a third can do this — what does China know that we don’t?
Jeff Schmidt, head of security technology for BT Global Services, thinks IT managers in China might have more freedom to take risks: “it could well be that emerging economies are more adaptable than countries like the USA, UK and France, who’re subject to more regulations and constraints”.
And it may also be that Chinese organisations are more used to accepting policy decisions at face-value, without the anxiety and debate that many Western enterprises are experiencing right now; the Chinese workforce may not have any qualms about downloading prescribed security software, or accepting conditions such as remote wipe as part of their BYOD agreement.
If the Chinese position on BYOD and IT security is what we should be aiming for, how do we get there?
Jeff cuts to the chase: “the security team has to be seen as the enabler not the barrier”. And this involves meeting the joint challenges of cyber security, Cloud computing and BYOD; with one hand you need to loosen controls to make BYOD possible, and with the other you need tight control over equipment, processes and networks to protect cyber security.
It’s time for action; we have a wealth of genuine business experience to draw on and the statistics to back up the theory.
Real-life experiences ram home the necessity of finding the right BYOD for your organisation. Who wants to be the business that has to shut down all network access for personal devices when one employee loses their phone — all because of a lack of infrastructure and policy preparation for BYOD?
Becoming a BYOD business is a process. It’s about combining the right, clear policy for your organisation (reflecting your risk appetite) and the most effective tools to put you in a position to anticipate fast-moving IT events — rather than just reacting to them.
It’s not about whether to allow BYOD anymore.
It’s about when and how you’ll make BYOD work for your organisation.