Sir – Today’s successful housing provider thrives on its ability to attract and retain staff which fit its culture: agile, motivated and adaptable to change, from a diverse range of backgrounds. These organisations need to trust their employees and give them the freedom to work in the way that they choose, and a large part of this is allowing them to work using their own tablets and smartphones, a way of working largely attributed to ‘generation Y’ or ‘digital natives’.
The major concern is that with the introduction of unmanaged applications in the workplace, using these devices brings with it major headaches for the housing provider’s IT team. To cure these headaches, IT leaders need to identify where and from whom the network threats originate, and use this as a starting point to manage the network risks.
This is where research we’ve carried out across both public and private sector organisations revealed a surprising truth. Contrary to belief, it isn’t necessarily interns and graduates who are providing a risk to corporate networks by working on their own tablets and smartphones, but more the C Suite, senior management and management. It makes sense; they are arguably more likely to have disposable income to spend on gadgets than recent graduates who may be saddled with debt.
IT and network managers can’t police access to all the applications that are available on the multitude of devices crossing the network so they need to take a different approach. This should include a training programme to make sure employees know and understand the risks of working with their own devices, educating them on the steps to take so they can minimise any risk to the organisation’s network. The focus should no longer be on only educating those coming in at an early career level, but should incorporate everyone in the organisation, whatever their level.
By maintaining a focus on educating staff across the organisation, only then can our IT leaders rest easily at night, and only then can we safely give staff the flexibility to work in a powerful and motivated way.
Head of public sector, Easynet