October 04, 2013

Building a secure Bring Your Own Device environment is becoming a bigger challenge for IT organizations as the number of different devices and operating systems that must be secured is increasing, a number of CIO’s in the financial services sector said during a roundtable session at Interop New York.

BYOD has become a necessity particularly for trading and investment teams. “Investment pros will tell you their no. 1 limit on their productivity is the hours of the day. With mobile they can have more productive hours in the day,” said Kurt Brungardt, one of the panelists and the CIO of MSD Capital.

As the business side pushes for more productivity out of its workers, it can increase the pressure on IT to provide new mobile capabilities that may still have some security concerns around them, Brugardt added.

All of the capital markets CIO’s at the roundtable said their organization had a BYOD policy. But it can be a struggle incorporating a number of different devices and operating systems securely. While some of them said they are phasing out BlackBerrys from their workforce, they now are required to cover new devices such as Android tablets and airbooks. “I have a few Windows phone users [in my organization] and they absolutely love the software. They would never give up those devices,” Suhit Gupta, the CTO and a principal at Mapt Technologies, noted.

And it’s important to remember that the enterprise mobility space is still young, and the number of solutions delivering enterprise content to mobile devices are increasing as well. “Four or five years ago MobileIron was the only player in this space. When we were looking at a new solution last year, we had many options. We looked at Good and Airwatch,” Gupta recalled.

While this space continues to mature, and more devices and operating systems proliferate, IT executives can still get to work now on raising awareness among their staff of security issues related to enterprise mobility, said Arthur Vaccaro, CTO of Ionic Capital Management LLC. “We’ve integrated data management training into our compliance training with new employees,” he shared. “It is so important that users understand that they have the power to destroy the firm in their hand [with these mobile devices]. Raising that awareness has been very valuable for us.”

Jonathan Camhi is a graduate of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where he focused on international reporting and interned at the Hindustan Times in Delhi, ...