18 Apr 2013

What happened on 15th April, BYOD: A Faustian Pact?

Together with our event partners, ICT KTN, we held another Mobile Monday London event on Monday 15th April at our usual venue, the CBI Conference Centre.

The event was chaired by David Rogers, of Copper Horse who was joined by a great panel of experts representing a wide range of views on security, standardisation, usability and functionality provided by BYOD concepts in corporate environments.

Joining him on the panel: 

Caroline Maloney from Telefonica
Charles Brookson of Azenby and Chair of GSMA Security Group
Gemma Coles from Mubaloo

Left to right - David, Gemma, David, Caroline & Charles
Huge thanks not only to the panellists and chair but also to our volunteers for helping with the smooth running of the night ... and in particular to Manfred Bortenschlager, who was kind enough to write this piece to summarise some of the themes and to Tes MacPherson who took the photos.

A link to the podcast of the event and some useful follow-up links follow Manfred's summary.

When David posed the event’s headline as a question to the panel “BYOD – is it a Faustian pact?” Charles immediately responded “well, it certainly is a pact with the devil: for all the opportunities of bringing your new, shiny devices come a lot of security risks.” So, security was a topic largely discussed between the panellists and the audience. How can you make sure that confidential data does not leave the company or is compromised? Solutions like locking down of device capabilities like Bluetooth, the camera or tethering were discussed. People, of course, always find ways to circumvent such restrictions.

A further emerging topic was company policies and their ineffectiveness. An interesting analogy was drawn to the ineffectiveness of company policies of prohibiting special websites versus configuring firewalls accordingly. One of the conclusions suggested by panellists was to accept that BYOD is happening and to try to understand its implications and embrace it. An important aspect of embracing is probably employee education and improving social engineering awareness.

This was also underlined with the new generation of “Digital Natives” who do not necessarily make a distinction between a “work” device and a “private” device. Those types might just converge. This trend may lead to a new view on employment in more general way: work when, where and how the tasks require it.

Another topic of discussion was how employees who BYOD can be protected better and how a balanced work-life relation can be guaranteed nevertheless. BYOD could be deployed in combination with a company services policy that would, e.g., switch off email delivery during out-of-office hours.

Lots of debating over beers!
On the actual software development side of things it was criticised that many mobile Operating Systems or platforms do not focus enough on educating developers in the necessity of deploying security mechanism effectively. In other words, developers are not encouraged specifically to pay enough attention to security in mobile app development. On the contrary, in many cases it seems that developers need to overcome cumbersome barriers like insufficient support for security protocols.

Usability was another topic discussed. Many users do not know what certain things on a mobile device actually mean and what the consequences of allowing or switching a particular function or service on or off could mean. A half-solution could be to have a clear separation between corporate and private and thus allow having two (or more) devices. Dual SIM, embedded SIM or even Soft-SIM solutions, which could allow downloadable and switchable profiles, could add an interesting dimension to the BYOD and corporate versus private use discussion.

The verdict:

The benefits of BYOD are cost advantages, increase in productivity, flexibility, convenience, employee engagement, or simply exploiting new possibilities. On the other hand, there are still many unanswered questions as to the security risks, usability and impact on work-life balance.

It is probably fair to say that we are in the middle of an unstoppable development where the boundaries between work and life, corporate and private get more and more blurry and for the upcoming Digital Natives it is the modus operandi anyway. So, we might as well just embrace it, too.

Thanks Manfred!

Mark Bridge at The Fonecast made a recording of the proceedings, which is followed by an interview with chair, David Rogers.

Links that we have been sent by participants ...

From David Rogers, Copper Horse, our chair: 

The most dangerous code in the world: validating SSL certificates in non-browser software

From Becky Hayman of Tigerspike:

Frank (left), engaging with the panel as people arrive
From Frank Domoney of BYOD Toolkit:

Achieving the Productivity Gains of BYOD without compromising security  
* Anyone can have a copy of our list of stakeholders in Legal Firms by clicking on the button on the website, and Mobile Monday Attendees can at the same time request a copy of a BYOD Model Policy. We are in the process of reviewing and updating the Policy in the light of emerging and evolving technology but people won’t go far wrong with the Mk1 version - upon request at this BYOD Toolkit page.

11 Apr 2013

Mobile Miscellany, 11 April 2013, BYOD Event on Monday 15th ... Massive Discount on Places for The Mobile Academy

A short miscellany this time, but no less sweet for that.  We have a massive offer (as low as £300) on places at the upcoming Mobile Academy, discount for AngelHack, and we have a couple of places remaining for Monday 15 April's Bring Your Own Device event. Plus a reminder for the BlackBerry 10 Event on 30th April.

Bring Your Own Device, Monday 15th April

Just round the corner, next Monday, in partnership with ICT KTN we're holding our discussion of the technology, social, security, moral and any other implications of BYOD. Chaired by David Rogers, our panel features experts from Telefonica, BlackBerry, Mubaloo and Azenby and as usual plenty of opportunities for discussion from the floor.

We have a few spaces left for this event, attendance is free, registration is open.

The Mobile Academy - Next Programme 23rd April for 10 Weeks

We're offering a further discount of 40% on places at the next Mobile Academy Programme bringing the lowest price down to just under £300 … this is an offer to the Mobile Monday London community open for a limited time only!

Find out more about The Mobile Academy and book your place at http://moblacad-apr-2013.eventbrite.com and enter the promo code Momolo by clicking on the link marked "Enter promotional code" under the ticket type selection. If you've been considering attending, now is the time to act! If you have any questions at all - drop Julia (julia@themobileacademy.org.uk) a line.

AngelHack 27-28 April at Bloomberg's offices in Finsbury Square

We have a special discount for AngelHack, the international hackathon competition 27-28 April in London. Developers create a prototype of a new idea that solves a ‘big problem’, with all code written during the two-day event.

The finalists are entered into the three-month AngelHack Accelerator Program to help them get from “Hack to Startup”. More info and registration here.

BlackBerry 10 Event at The British Library

Our friends over at Cambridge Wireless are holding a BlackBerry 10 event - The Future for Developers – 30th April 2013, British Library, London. Event kicks off at 5pm and you can register here.

I did promise a short Miscellany this time and it looks like I succeeded!  Look forward to seeing some of you on Monday.

3 Apr 2013

Next Event - Monday 15th April - Bring Your Own Device, a Faustian Pact?

Mobile is now ubiquitous, isn't it? And we have all become used to the idea that it reaches into every corner of our lives, haven't we? So we're instantly on call and can access our office data and email everywhere all from the convenience of our own mobile device.

While mobility is a boon to the self-employed and to people running small businesses, it creates a fair number of challenges that tend to be noticed sooner by larger, and certainly by enterprise companies. Answering those challenges is an opportunity, potentially, for app developers and service providers alike.

Employees are now likely to have their own computers and mobile devices and may well have chosen them for virtues of usability, friendliness of interfaces, access to software that would not be permitted on office equipment, even if it was provided. The security issues abound, and even for small companies a Pandora's box of issues is thrown open. And it's not just software and devices. Many of us enjoy the freedom of hooking up our devices to cloud services, Dropbox is a favourite, and many may be tempted by the convenience of sharing work files using services like that. But having done that, the data genie is out of the bottle.

There are very many trade offs that are involved both on the employers side and the employees side in either allowing users to choose their own devices or on the other side allowing your employer to intrude on your personal time and space.

Together with our event partners, ICT KTN , we're going to explore those issues at our next event on Monday 15th April. Chaired by MoMoLo regular and security and standards industry maven David Rogers, of Copper Horse, who will be joined by a leading panel of experts representing a wide range of views on everything from device security, to implementation of BYOD in a corporate environment.

Panellists will include:

As usual there should be plenty of lively debate and opportunities for the community to voice our opinions, no matter what sector we consider ourselves to be in.

The venue is CBI Conference Centre at Centre Point. Please use the entrance at street level. Nearest tube is Tottenham Court Road (Central Line and Northern Line).

The event is free to attend, but registration is required and registration is now open at Eventbrite. (http://momolo-2013-04-15.eventbrite.com/)


6.00 pm Doors Open

6.30 pm Panel Session chaired by David

8.00 pm Networking

9.30 pm Close