New security threat at work: Bring-your-own-network

Education and contracts with employees can help curb security risks

By , Computerworld |  Security, mobile hotspots

Steve Damadeo, IT Operations Manager Festo Corp., a producer of pneumatic and electric drive technology, said his first approach with employees who want to use personal technology at work is to educate them. "We try to spend a lot of time talking to employees about why it's important to make sure when you're inside our environment that you're using corporate secure resources," he said.

Festo hasn't used wireless jamming or blocking technology because it is trying to keep wireless communications as open as possible.

Like many enterprises, Festo has multiple secure wireless networks, three of which its employees can access. The company's primary wireless network is used for access to internal systems and data via authorized mobile devices; users of it are managed via custom-built mobile device management software.

A second network is offered to employees who want connectivity to the World Wide Web via their own mobile devices; that one allows access through a VPN. "We've not enabled full BYOD within the company, so at this point we're able to provide VPN capabilities to them," Damadeo said.

The third wireless network is for guests, and it is made available on a rotating encryption/key basis for visitors.

One other method of controlling how employees use wireless communications is to have them sign contracts, so that they understand they, too, are responsible for any lost data, Schadler said.

They're "basically requiring employees sign their life away and indemnify the company against damages, and that makes them think twice," he said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

Read more about consumerization of it in Computerworld's Consumerization of IT Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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