Security "Bits"

Cloud Security and Employee Privacy: Why It Matters

By Rich Campagna | February 7, 2014 at 5:34 AM
who_cares_image_300pxAt Bitglass, we talk quite a bit about the importance of employee privacy when securing cloud and mobile. Analysts, like IDC, agree. You might be asking yourself, who cares about employee privacy? It's never been something that IT has considered before - what has changed?  
Employee privacy wasn't a big concern before because employees were using corporate devices on corporate networks to use corporate applications.  It was clear to everyone that if an employee chose to use this infrastructure for personal use as well, it was reasonable that personal traffic was monitored by that infrastructure.  
Today, however, employees use personal devices on personal or public networks to use both corporate and personal cloud apps.  IT no longer owns that infrastructure, and it's no longer fair or reasonable for IT to have visibility or control over employee personal data.  Today's employees work the way that they live, and if you want to empower them to do that, you need to consider their personal right to privacy. 
As an example, imagine your CEO's response if you told her that in order to secure Google Apps for your company's deployment, you were also inspecting and controlling everyone's personal Gmail traffic because it is considered "shadow IT."  I'm sure the response wouldn't be favorable. As an officer of the company, she would be immediately concerned about the company's legal liability from such a move.  As an employee, she would also be concerned that people in IT are able to snoop her personal email account.  
As an enabler in today's enterprise, you need to secure cloud and mobile, but also to meet employee needs, including their personal privacy.  


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