Computer professionals have been required to adapt to a number of significant changes to how businesses use their computer systems. The early implementation of corporate computing was the era of the huge mainframe computer. The only individuals allowed access to the computer were programmers and system analysts. Users were given just the output of the computer.
With the introduction of remote job entry in the late 60s, individuals began to interface with the computer directly. This represented the first time security of the system was a major concern. Beginning with first minicomputers and then PCs, everyone began to expect access to computing power. For the small business, the computer meant a new era of business management. It also introduced new areas of concern, such as computer and data security.The laptop and remote computing
As the laptop made mobility and portability a standard expectation, concerns over security came to the forefront. The era of "bring your own device" forced new considerations and flexibility for computer professionals. The BYOD environment has created an entirely different approach to employee computing procedures. The continual strengthening of firewalls to protect systems and data is something of an arms race against hackers and malware. With more and more reliance of mobile apps and smart phones, the security equation has become more complex. Add social media to the mix and the issue has raised new and pressing concerns for businesses.The weak link in computer system access
It is enough of a challenge for computer professionals to maintain security protocols on their primary systems. With increasingly distributed access, employees represent significant sources of breaches in security from several perspectives. The storage of sensitive and proprietary data on a laptop being used in a coffee shop in Paris is an unprecedented challenge to the computer professional tasked with system integrity and security. Not only is the device at risk of being lost or stolen, it can be hacked locally. Once penetrated, a BOYD user can be a gateway to the corporate system.
Add issue of governance, risk and compliance that are required in many regulated industries and the problem becomes one that affects a business on many levels.Seeking a solution
Beyond more restrictive policies for the BOYD worker, there are a number of questions being asked that are yet to be answered. The next phase of business computing will be forced to find creative and effective solutions.