Recently we sat down with visionary security evangelist John Britton to ask him all about enterprise mobility. In part of of the series we asked him about the use of connected devices to enhance business. Here’s what he had to say.

I bought the first Apple Watch that came out and the first Motorola Android watch and I have a Fitbit so I use them but I don’t particularly understand how wearables could be essential in the enterprise.
I think I’m less productive wearing connected devices than I should be. Every time a get a message and my watch starts buzzing, I find myself wanting to check that as opposed to ignoring my phone.
I read a really interesting article yesterday. The National Basketball Association has allowed some company to come in and put connected devices on all the athletes to collect various health data while they are both on and off the court.
And so I started wondering, “will we start seeing this type of monitoring of employees in the enterprise?”. Because companies could take that data to healthcare and health insurance providers and say “look, I’ve got employees that are at this level of physical exertion and therefore healthier than the general population, can you save money and can I pass that saving along to my employees?” But would employees be willing to accept their healthcare data being monitored for lower premiums and lower fees? So that’s where I see this potentially going on the connected devices side.

What do you think about the security of IoT devices

We should be asking questions of our connected devices are: Are they configured appropriately to connect to the right network services? And are they running any applications that are odd or gathering more information than they should be?
I have this challenge at home with our smart TV and it gets more complicated when my kids are downloading suspicious or untested apps onto it.
Through a traditional hacking approach if Samsung or Sony or somebody loses a root certificate, how do I know that my TV is safe and still doing what it was intended to do when it was designed and left the factory?
VMware has recently signed up to be part of an IOT consortium to look at IOT in the warehouse and the data center and places like that because there is data that’s flowing in and out. I think for the most part, Apple watches, Android watches and Fitbits are pretty secure because it’s expensive to get into the radios that you can use to snoop Bluetooth, especially LTE and some of the newer stuff coming out.
But it’s when all that data is collected and then we go back to the traditional problems of am I securing the data center and am I allowing the appropriate access into the right data centers?
That’s still in my mind the biggest issue, because if my data gets compromised, yes, I’m upset about it, but what if it’s the entire enterprise data that’s compromised?
So I have to look at this from both the individual perspective and then the whole enterprise so I do think that we’ll see more consortiums for IoT security.

What’s next for those countries that have difficulty adopting cloud services?

Cloud providers will need to make some tough decisions when considering whether or not to expand into countries that are less favorable for cloud development.
Sometimes it makes economic sense for the cloud service provider to do so. And from the other end, I also think that there will be some movement from those countries as they realize their workforce is not as productive and not able to keep up with the global economy.
It really comes down to who capitulates first – the cloud provider that’s willing to move into those regions and offer a local cloud solution? Or those countries deciding it’s important to compete on a global economic scale?

What is the one service the enterprise needs right now that doesn’t exist?

Enterprises are very frustrated because there’s just so much information about mobility creating a management-by-magazine type mentality. In other words, they see something in the news and then they go to their IT department asking what they are doing about it. Then IT overreacts because no-one really has the time to understand what the problems are.
I think Wandera has this unique opportunity to communicate with IT teams and equip them with a calm and appropriate response before their CEO comes asking about something they’ve seen in the news.
In a practical sense, every time there’s a big android exploit that comes out, we see there’s over a billion devices impacted.
What enterprises need is a credible and qualified voice to say “well let’s take a look at how many of those devices are rooted in the enterprise, and how many of those devices in the enterprise are running the impacted operating system and so on and so forth.”
Wandera would be able to be that voice of reason and explain to an enterprise what the discovery is and how many users are impacted and help the iT team to act appropriately to manage those affected users. This eliminates the overreaction from management and the disruption to the IT team.
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