Earlier today it was reported that Siri was being blocked for IBM employees nationwide as a sort of cut-back on their “bring your own device” policy for smartphones and tablets at the workplace – that policy has expanded, it seems. A new addition to the reports we’ve heard this morning indicate that IBM not only has Apple’s Siri blocked, but several other applications such as Dropbox and Apples iCloud. The reason IBM has these applications blocked from the their offices is simple: data might not be as secure through these applications as they want their employees data to be.
What Jeanette Horan, IBM’s chief information officer has said this week is that she’s not seeing a whole lot of savings in the program they’ve stared with employees carrying their own store-bought devices. Instead they’re seeing 5,000 people (in Horan’s department) using software IBM simply cannot entirely control. Because she’s in charge of information control, it’s got to seem rather like an impossible series of roads in and out of the business, so to speak, with 80,000 workers currently accessing IBM’s internal network using smart phones and tablets total, just half of these using BlackBerry devices IBM has been assured will be secure enough with no additional app cuts.
There’s a banned list out there, therefor, passed by Horan’s team which includes applications such as Apple’s Siri (on the iPhone 4S) and Apple’s iCloud interface as well – users can shut these titles off via their settings but IBM has reportedly overridden some systems entirely. Another application banned by IBM are Dropbox, a cloud storage system, and several email services which allow forwarding of internal IBM email services. We must assume services like Box and Google Drive are either on the chopping block or have been banned already as well.
What is allowed is IBM’s own cloud storage service MyMobileHub – a service consumers can take advantage of as well. Horan’s team has created software that can be loaded onto several different kinds of phones for added security as well. One example of these secure app additions is a program which can encrypt information as a device (and a user) travels in and out of secured areas in IBMs network. Cool stuff!
[via Technology Review]