Download our in-depth report: The Ultimate Guide to IT Security VendorsAs you read this, users are winding up their holidays and heading back tothe office. The trouble is that they're bringing security risks with them-- you can count on it.
That is, all those users are bringing all the cool new electronic gadgetsthey received as holiday gifts.
The cool gadgets this year span a broad spectrum: PDAs, USB memorysticks, personal MP3/media players, smart mobile phones (many withcameras built in), wireless adapters, Bluetooth devices and digitalcameras. The two common themes in the above list are memory capacity anddata connectivity, and those two ingredients can add up to significantsecurity risks for your business.
Now, I'm as much a ''gadget guy'' as anyone I know, and truth be told,there is great business benefit to be gained from most of these devices.PDAs can be enormously useful at organizing a busy business, along withschedules and priorities, both professional and personal. USB memorysticks have all but done away with floppy and Zip disks. Even thosepersonal MP3 players can make long business flights a little lessintolerable -- trust me!https://o1.qnsr.com/log/p.gif?;n=203;c=204650394;s=9477;x=7936;f=201801171506010;u=j;z=TIMESTAMP;a=20392931;e=i You can be sure that corporate users are going to try to integrate thesecool devices into their work lives. Your job is to enable that to happen-- to the extent that you feel is reasonable, -- while safeguarding yourcompany's business concerns. So, just what are the threats from thesedevices? Let's take a quick look and separate the reality from the FUD(Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) that litters the popular press.
All of these risks are quite real.
The likelihood of them affecting your company depends on a whole bunch ofthings. Without a doubt, the decision of whether or not to accept thesedevices in the workplace must be made by each company after carefullyconsidering the potential benefits of allowing these gadgets against thepotential risks they would carry.
There are a few things that you can consider doing, however, that shouldreduce -- although not eliminate -- the risks. Here's my list:
It should be obvious that this list is just a quick ''fly by'' of some ofthe possible remediations that you can consider. And, of course, there'sno substitute for other good computing hygiene practices, such asanti-virus software and personal firewall devices.
The main point I'm trying to make is that the gadgets are inevitable.Ignoring them won't make them go away.
Similarly, there aren't any perfect solutions that remove all of thethreats that go along with them. But your users are going to want to usethem, for good and valuable business reasons in many cases. You canprohibit them if that's what your computing environment requires, or youcan find ways to reduce the risk and embrace them.
As for me, you'd have to pry my PDA and USB drive from my cold, deadhands.