IBM tells employees to shut Siri up and drop out of Dropbox


With about 80,000 employees using mobile devices other than the BlackBerrys the company gives out, IBM (NYSE: IBM) has come up with a list of applications that are off limits. Among the outlawed apps are public file-transfer offerings, including Dropbox, and the voice-activated personal assistant Siri, reports Brian Bergstein at Technology Review.

Since 2010, employees at Big Blue have enjoyed a BYOD environment, but the free-to-be-you-and-me atmosphere has come at a cost, according to Jeanette Horan, company CIO. An internal survey recently showed that many employees have no idea which apps could present security problems.

In addition to banning risky apps, Horan's department makes sure employees' personal devices are configured before they're allowed to connect to company networks. Her staff makes sure that memory can be wiped if a device is lost, and they disable public file-transfer programs. Siri is deactivated as well because the company is concerned that queries could be saved somewhere.

The process is labor intensive as it varies depending on the type of device an employee uses and the employee's position. For those employees allowed to access internal files and applications, the devices are equipped with encryption programs and other software.

For more:
- see Brian Bergstein's article at Technology Review

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