BYOD: Pervasive Computing Has Arrived

A good tool is an invisible tool. By invisible, I mean that the tool does not intrude on your consciousness; you focus on the task, not the tool. Eyeglasses are a good tool — you look at the world, not the eyeglasses. The blind man tapping the cane feels the street, not the cane. Of course, tools are not invisible in themselves, but as part of a context of use. With enough practice we can make many apparently difficult things disappear: my fingers know vi editing commands that my conscious mind has long forgotten. But good tools enhance invisibility. – Mark Weiser, August 16, 1993

Often, I’m at odds with others in the security community over some of the positions I espouse.  My support of BYOD is one of them. While I see the risk in allowing users to bring their own devices to work, my experience in the enterprise has convinced me they’re already doing it, whether or not the IT department officially supports it. So we might as well accept the inevitable and start to work out the ground rules with each other.

Besides, isn’t this a good thing for information technology and society? We are seeing the fruition of Mark Weiser’s work in Ubiquitous or Pervasive Computing at Xerox PARC with the Internet of Things and a flourishing mobile device marketplace. I was drawn to IT in order to solve problems, not drown in the minutia of attack scenarios. Unfortunately, many security professionals can’t see beyond the vulnerabilities and spend most of their time pissing on everyone’s parade.

Regardless, I’ll continue to write and teach on the topic, because I think it’s important to collaborate with the business and the other sectors of IT to find solutions. Towards that end, I’ve written a piece for Dark Reading about tackling that difficult beast, BYOD.Spock does BYOD

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