Does Data Security Require IT Tyranny in the BYOD Era?

The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and BYOS (Bring Your Own Software) movements within the enterprise have been somewhat of a revolution — workers want to be free from the (perceived) tyrannical reign of the IT department.


It’s easy to see why this trend is occurring — would you rather use Lotus Notes or Gmail? Macbook Air or 10 lb. “laptop” from 2005? DropBox or…you get it.

But the issue isn’t with the devices or the software, it’s the data.

Even the most progressive, independent nations have systems in place that govern and protect the people.  Likewise, the most progressive organizations — the ones that say use any device or any piece of software — still need to secure their data.

IT can’t be a dictatorship, but it can’t permit anarchy either.  Until recently there hasn’t been a need to strike such a delicate balance between independence and control because data was largely immobile.

Today, data has so many vehicles to escape — we have computers that fit in our pockets, 1TB flash drives embedded in Swiss army knives, and always-on services that are constantly moving data between our devices and the cloud.

In order to meet the challenge of security without tyranny we have to redefine what it means to be secure.  We need to start adopting the philosophy of visibility as security. If we have far more visibility into where our data is, who can access it, who’s using it, who owns it — maybe then we can be far more open about devices and software.

Image courtesy of rachaelvoorhees.

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