Everyone is talking about security these days, especially in the mobile world. It's become one of the many buzzwords that smartphone makers are throwing out there to make it kosher for you to bring your device to work. It's no longer OK to just sell you a smartphone or tablet; vendors want to promote use in a BYOD program. They throw around terms like "secure containers," "containerization," "encryption," "VPN," "secure communication," "EMM" (enterprise mobility management), and a host of other terms whose use, of course, means it's OK to bring your device into work.
They hit the IT and business groups in enterprises as well. They send them whole white papers about why their technology or the next is the best thing since sliced bread. The problem is that's a just another whiff of the unicorn farts we've dealt with in the past.
[ Read InfoWorld's comparison of mobile security capabilities in iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Consumerization of IT newsletter today. ]
You see, everyone likes to trumpet the claim that mobile is insecure. Now that people are using their smartphones for work, enterprises are in trouble. The apps that people are using are going to let out all of the confidential data that everyone has been storing for decades. It won't be long until we all have the secret formula for Coke, the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, or -- even worse -- how that McDonald's special sauce is made. These manufacturers and vendors need to throw this FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt -- a technique so common it has its own acronym!) out there so that they can then sell you their wares.
The dirty secret that nobody wants you to find out is that mobile has nothing to do with it.
Mobile is just an amplification of all the insecure practices you and your company have been using for decades. Long before we even had computers, people used carbon paper to make copies of files as they were typed and take the home to edit. Along came copy machines, and data became even easier to take home. People didn't buy briefcases just to carry their lunch to work. They used them to make their work easier and carry it around so they could work on it when they needed to. Before briefcases became passé, people lost them all the time.
We went from briefcases to desktop computers and floppy disks. If you had a computer at home, you would just carry the floppy disks back and forth each night so you could work on it. Those gave way to Zip disks (remember those?).