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BYOD: 'the inmates of the asylum have control'

Ann Bednarz | April 18, 2012
Mobile devices are multiplying and -- sanctioned or unsanctioned -- finding their way onto corporate networks. For IT pros, the influx of personal mobile devices to the corporate network is raising security concerns, creating management challenges, and swamping the help desk with support calls.

One respondent noted "an increase in workload due to a more diverse hardware and software infrastructure," and another said the management overhead is so significant "we needed to outsource mobile phone device management to keep up with demand."

Respondents said they're employing a wide range of vendor tools and security tactics in order to provide safe, productive mobile access to employees. Usage policies vary, and many are a work in progress as business priorities shift and access technologies mature. Determining security policies that can be reasonably enforced on personal mobile devices is tricky. In some cases, companies have found they need to rethink blanket bans on personal devices at work as the BYOD trend gains momentum. To ignore the trend could be a big gamble.

"Our current policy disallows all personal devices on the corporate network. However, we're not enforcing this. We are in the process of developing a useful/enforceable version of the policy," one respondent said.

Put another way, another survey respondent humorously noted the mobile device management challenge is constantly evolving "because the inmates of the asylum have control."


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