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August 2006

Layer 8: Personal devices put enterprise data at risk

The proliferation of personal technology at work puts corporate data at risk, and security practitioners aren't paying attention. In the corporate world, the boundary between business and personal domains was always clear. You worked at the office with a company PC or laptop, and maybe you had a computer at home for personal business. But the increasing consumerization of technology has blurred the line between the office and home, creating risks that infosecurity teams are ignoring. High-capacity plug-and-play storage is now a consumer item given away for free at trade shows. Who doesn't have a memory stick, a PDA or a mobile phone that can sync with Microsoft Outlook? Home PC access into corporate systems is routine, and several firms have even started experiments with employee-owned laptops. I'm writing this column on multiple PCs, carrying the file back and forth on a USB memory device. Is there any doubt that accountants and lawyers, tired of lugging their laptops back and forth to work, sometimes do that, too? ...

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