Today we each famously walk around with more computing power and memory storage than was needed to land man on the moon. It might be a mobile phone, an iPod, a BlackBerry, an iPad 2 or just a humble USB stick.
There is now an increasing trend to allow employees to bring all these personal “must-have” items into work. So do you allow your staff to use social networks either through your business systems or via any of these personal devices while in the office?
Companies face ever-increasing challenges when protecting their proprietary and sensitive information. In the current economic climate, it may be tempting to an employee with a grievance to pilfer a nice juicy data file with a view to selling it on.
Two years ago, according to a survey undertaken by IT security group Cyber-Ark, 58 per cent of British workers would be prepared to take confidential company data if faced with redundancy. The same survey found 40 per cent of UK staff were already taking confidential data –and would use it to help to negotiate a new job.
Businesses are also facing increasing demands from staff to work from home or at other locations that better suit their lifestyles or because the businesses themselves demand more availability from staff out of hours. Mechanisms to use data outside the office have proliferated and policing the potential spread of this data can cause massive security headaches.
The image of the employee sneaking out with a desktop computer tucked under their coat or a hard drive concealed in a sock may seem far-fetched, but for the past few years, staff routinely and for legitimate reasons have walked in and out of companies carrying CDs, DVDs, laptops and USB sticks.
Now smartphones, tablets and all the other gadgetry we each have contain a drive that is easily plugged into a computer onto which can be copied far more information than could ever fit onto a CD, DVD or USB stick. None of these personal gadgets is overt in the way that a PC is.