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Avoiding basic BYOD blunders

Michael Fitzgerald | Feb. 15, 2013
Each company has to work out its own correct mix of technology and policy safeguards. But most have figured out how to sidestep these fundamental BYOD security errors -- have you?

IBM has a set of corporate security guidelines its workers must follow. Managers approve BYOD requests. The company then assigns workers an eight-digit alphanumeric password, and it has full remote wipe capabilities if someone loses their device, or has it stolen, though it has 'containerized' its applications so that it does not have to wipe an entire device to protect its data. IBM also limits the applications people can access, usually to things like email and IBM's collaboration suite.

"We don't deliver the keys to the kingdom," says Bill Bodin, IBM's chief technology officer for mobility, who is responsible for the company's BYOD initiative.

By the end of 2012, all workers who want to use their own devices will have to become 'certified.' IBM has developed about 45 minutes of video modules on the principles of secure mobile computing, and workers have to pass a test on the videos to be eligible to use their own devices. It's also developing a "persona" app for its internal app store, so that employees can download IBM-specific apps that match their roles.

Bodin's advice for BYODers?

"I would start small. Qualify a particular device. Ask, 'what are my core capabilities I need to mobilize?' And don't put the company's data at risk."


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