Journey through Enterprise IT Services
In Journey through Enterprise IT Services, Nadhan, HP Distinguished Technologist, explores the IT Services industry, and discusses technology trends in simplified terms.

Information Security begins at home with your employees

Is your business protected against information security risks? HP expert Ken Larson points out five key information security management objectives for enterprises. One of these objectives – accessibility –stands out for me. In today's world of bringing your own devices, an ecosystem has been created that raises concerns about the security of the data exchanged in the process. Accessibility is a concern both from the standpoint of retrieval as well as dispatch of information. The right consumers must have the authorization to access the information and the information must be sent to the right consumers. This gets magnified when you consider the myriad possibilities with employees working out of their home office in addition to using their BYODs. Therefore, Information Security begins at home with your employee. Let us see why.


Every employee can be a living, walking access path to the information contained within your enterprise. Through their access credentials and their personal devices, one can obtain access to valuable information contained within your enterprise.


As I outline in this post, BYOD is but a manifestation of similar paradigms that have existed in the past – PYOD->UYOE->SYOW->EYOH->BYOD. When we EYOH - extend your own home – we must watch out for the security violators whether such interactions happen by chance or choice:


1. The cost-effective neighbor – using your unprotected wireless network to access the information on your own network of personal and business devices at home.


2. The enthusiastic assistant – who happily browses through texts and phone calls on your mobile device on your behalf.


3. The competing family member - working for another organization in the same market as yours coming to know of the latest changes in your enterprise's marketing strategies.


4. The sharp-eared listener - stopping by to engage in casual conversation overhearing your conference call with other decision makers in your home office.


5. The hyperactive pet - casually strolling over your keyboard resulting in the dreaded send-key being hit at the wrong time. This happened for real to one of my co-workers, Jill whose pet dog, Spanky happened to take a walk on her keyboard resulting in an e-mail being sent one too many times – an instance of the wrong information being sent to consumers.


Talk about a Halloween scare for Jill!


What can enterprises do to address such security concerns in the DNA of their information ecosystem -- the employee? They can educate their employees on security, privacy and ethics guidelines that must apply even they work at home. When they BYOD and EYOH, they must treat their home office as their workplace. Exercising their right to the privacy of the information on their personal devices -- work-related or otherwise would help as well.

"Which e-mail to send next?" -- Spanky in deep thought on Halloween


But, what about Spanky? Well, if and when pets need attention, it is best to shut down your BYOD just like another co-worker of mine, Nancy Lichtle did on Labor Day earlier this year. Which is what Jill did as well when she dressed up Spanky for Halloween.


How about you? What experiences have you had with information security at home? What measures has your enterprise taken to address such concerns? Are your pets as much into your work lives like Spanky?  What about cats?  Are they as much into laptops like dogs are?  


Please let me know.


Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog



Nadhan | ‎11-01-2012 02:55 PM

Well, it seems like cats are no different.  They are into laptop keyboards too.  Stephanie, one of my acquaintances explained why. 


Tito, her cat, found her laptop keyboard to be a warm, cozy place to snuggle on and of course, multi-task by sending a few e-mails!


Hi there! Staying warm.  Got a laptop?


Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.


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