BYOD is a scary proposition regardless of the industry. On the one side you have the productivity benefits that you derive from employees using a device that they are comfortable with and generally have on their person during their waking hours. However, the downside is that sensitive information may be walking out of your organization with little or no controls to protect it. Because of this, my organization does not allow the storage of any PHI or PII on our BYOD devices although company confidential information may be allowed if there is a business need.
We also have implemented a Mobile Device Manager (MDW) tool to monitor and control the limited BYOD devices authorized for use in our organization. We reduce our risk of exposure knowing that, at minimum, a strong password and other controls are in place on the employee’s device and that the employee has voluntarily agreed to allow us to track and remotely wipe the device’s contents should it be lost or stolen.
What advice would you give to CSOs when it comes to requesting a budget increase?
Before a budget request can be made a CSO must know where the monies will be best spent. An honest self-examination of the security controls within the organization and using tools such as a color-coded risk profile as described in the report are a great way of showing the security posture of the organization to an executive in charge of finance.
It’s important to be able to help the CFO, or other executives working with the company budget, to understand the areas that need to be shored up and to translate these security requirements to business needs. By doing so, it helps grease the budget wheels to ensure the CSO gets the funds needed to be effective in securing the organization.
It’s been my experience that it’s the CSO who has the ability to show the benefits of the security program in business terms, rather than the experienced security professional, that tend to get the budgets they need.
What's your take on increased cloud adoption? Are you moving some of your resources into the cloud?
Clouds, like BYOD, are a blessing and a curse. My organization utilizes a number of professional cloud providers to augment services we are not properly staffed for, or don’t want to operate ourselves. However, while the conversations with these provides mainly center around application performance and capacity, few talk about security or compensation avenues for the loss or exposure of data.
With that said, many cloud providers are improving their service documents to provide better compensation clauses in their contracts but this is still a lingering problem in the cloud provider industry. In our experience with the inconsistent state of security of many cloud vendors, my organization as a practice does not allow PHI, PII, or other confidential information to be sent to a cloud. I expect as cloud providers mature their security practices that this will slowly change over time.
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