New thinking required for BYO device security


The relationship between financial services organisations and their employees is likely to undergo a fundamental shift, if Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) becomes a main stay across the market.

With recent research showing more than 80 per cent of senior executives are using personal devices at work, the need for trust in the workplace has never been greater.

Speaking at an iTnews event in Sydney, Commonwealth Bank’s Chief Information Officer, Michael Harte, emphasised security and the lack of standardisation as his major concerns with the growing prevalence of BYOD initiatives. “We have to extend a new and trusted relationship with staff, and ensure the right staff is hired,” he said.

Harte’s comments follow a recent study that indicates 90 per cent of companies will support business on mobile applications by 2014.  According to Gartner’s Senior Analyst, Robin Simpson, the number one issue for consideration among Australian CIOs is enterprise mobile strategy, with BYOD being an integral part of that.

The results were part of a global survey of 3000 CIOs. “Many employees have better kit at home than we give them at work. If you don’t give it to them, they start bringing it,” said Simpson. He sees it as inevitable that BYOD will become established practice across the industry. “People have these devices in their personal lives and want to use them in their work life,” he said.

Simpson said the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to IT hardware and security is no longer viable. “We should be thinking about the jobs that people do and what technology might be appropriate for those jobs,” he said. “Not every employee has high security requirements for the data they deal with.”

Simpson suggested security protocols be modified for BYOD to protect specific assets rather than relying on an organisation’s firewall. “Once you start allowing Bring-Your-Own devices… you need to assume that everything on your internal network is evil and start to secure assets rather than trying to secure the perimeter,” he said. “Perimeter security has gone out the window.”