Calling her company “extraordinarily conservative,” IBM CIO Jeanette Horan recently told MIT Technology News that the company she works for blocks Siri and iCloud on its staff iPhones. The reason? Security measures, just to ensure spoken queries that are transmitted are not stored somewhere, like on Apple’s servers. As for the reason the company blocks iCloud, it is because files through the service are transferred publically— or with not as much security as IBM would like.
The piece continues to outline IBM’s efforts on security with its staff. When a employee brings in their own device (as they have been encouraged to do within the company since 2010), they must first give it to IBM’s IT department to remove what they believe is troublesome software like Siri and iCloud, and they also enable software that will allow the IT staff to quickly erase the memory on the device remotely in case it is lost or stolen.
MIT Technology News noted that as more employees want to use their own devices, the tools companies are using to protect them are booming:
The kinds of challenges IBM faces are becoming increasingly common. Surveys have shown that more than half of large companies are catering to their employees’ desire to use their own smart phones, and as a result, the market for “mobile-device management” tools is booming. A January report by Forrester Research counted more than 40 companies offering such services.
But, IBM’s Horan said the company is not actually saving any money from this BYOD campaign, rather her team of 5,000 are constantly working to make sure that the fleet of IBM employees are up-to date on the latest security news, something she said is not an easy task.
It is not clear how many employees are attempting to use an iPhone at work, but it has to be a good chunk. Horan said 40,000 of IBM’s 400,000 employees are using a company-issued BlackBerry, while 80,000 other workers use their own device.