July 22, 2018

Beware of Bring Your Own Device

I woke up in shock on my first day of freedom after leaving my Big 4 job. I leaned toward my nightstand to check the time on my iPhone. Wait, what?! My phone had been wiped. Panic set in first. When did I last back it up?

naked-smart-phone-addiction-dependency-confession-ecards-someecards-300x167.pngI woke up in shock on my first day of freedom after leaving my Big 4 job. I leaned toward my nightstand to check the time on my iPhone. Wait, what?! My phone had been wiped. Panic set in first. When did I last back it up?

Then reality hit me like a sledgehammer. I vaguely remember signing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) agreement granting my former employer the authority to remove all of the corporate files from my personal phone. “Appears reasonable,” I thought.

Little did I know, that “remove all corporate files” involved a remote factory reset! A little advance warning would have been helpful. What’s worse, my backup file was corrupt and the restore failed.

To make a long story short, recovering my phone’s personal data required a tearful appointment with Apple. Cue the world’s smallest violin.

Fast forward to now. BYOD is becoming extremely common as companies embrace the consumerization of IT. According to analysts, preventing employees from using their own devices is futile and even damaging

However, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Here’s the crash course in the benefits and risks of BYOD:

Benefits

  • Companies typically see increases in productivity from improvements in workflow efficiency and shorter response times. Plus, calendar sync might protect you from the classic “Oh, we had a meeting?” syndrome.
  • An enterprise can reduce technology costs on the employee’s dime by piggybacking onto their devices. And, employees are excited about it. (Counterintuitive, don’t you think?) However, it could also mean fewer tech dinosaurs.
  • Personnel have fewer devices to lug around. Anything to save us from this fashion emergency.
  • Employees have more flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere. Namely it is easier for employees to do work after hours. You guessed it. Work-life balance is doomed. Oh wait. I forgot. It’s been dubbed work-life blend now. I wonder why.

Risks

  • Companies must be willing to accept the risk of information leaks. If loose lips weren't worry enough, now companies have to worry about people losing their phones.
  • Device diversity may give IT staff a headache. KitKat, lollipop, marshmallow… ain't nobody got time for that.
  • Weak security on personal devices may give intruders an easy target. “Wait, but my phone has a 4-digit PIN and uses my thumbprint! It’s totally safe right?” That’s a big fat no as demonstrated by this brute force attack.

For companies to keep their noses clean and prevent BYOD from “just happening,” enterprise mobile device management (MDM) shouldn’t be taken lightly. It might be best to call in reinforcements. Thank goodness there are a few companies that specialize in MDM tools and solutions. For instance, MobileIron is capable of “providing secure corporate email, automatic device configuration, certificate-based security, and selective wipe of enterprise data for both corporate and user-owned devices.” Keyword: selective. After my experience in 2012, it’s about darn time.

Do you have any equally traumatizing BOYD stories or want to laugh at me for crying about my iPhone? Go ahead in the comments!

Image: Someecards
 

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KPMG Arrives at the Paperless Audit Party

office-space-402a-061907.jpgWe’ve received several reports about Klynveldians attending “eAudit” training this summer which marks the firm’s attempt to get break into the “paperless” audit world. Reports have been mixed with some saying that it’s best technology KPMG has invested in but others claiming that it will only run on Vista which may be problematic when Windows 7 rolls out.
Forgetting the technology mumbo-jumbo, it’s been long rumored that KPMG was the last major firm to make the move to a paperless audit. This could have been due to a number of things:
More, after the jump


• Partners that have been around since WWII that can’t even use email put the kibosh on the whole idea
• M-O-N-E-Y
• Accountants, in general, resist the idea of trying a new restaurant so don’t even think about messing with their audit methods
What’s more surprising is that some Radio Station clients have said that they prefer the old school audit. Not exactly sure what is so appealing about young auditors schleping around boxes of binders that weigh a few metric asstons but whatevs.
Our point, dude, is that KPMG has finally caved on this whole “paperless” idea. Since audits aren’t truly paperless we’re not sure what all the fuss is about but KPMGers got an extra week in Florida in the dead of summer out of it. Discuss the firm breaking into the new century in the comments or let us know how terrible your lives will be because of it.

(UPDATE) Big 4 Technology: Open Thread

Thumbnail image for Apple-II.jpgEditor’s Note: Francine McKenna is a regular contributor to Going Concern
We recently received a tip about KPMG implementing a new risk management system for vetting potential clients and engagements. The new system was put in place around the time of the second round of layoffs and according to our tip, things did not go smoothly.
Simply put, it didn’t work. Since the whole risk management thing is a big deal for any accounting firm, people were working day and night to try and get it fixed. Did we mention the layoffs? Right. They occurred right when this whole SNAFU was occurring.
Our source described the risk management process as a “total nightmare” for basically two weeks. Good news, is that things seem to be back to normal but it sounds like it was pre-tay, pre-tay hairy for a while there.
Most accounting firms, especially the Big 4, are heavily dependent on the efficient functioning of their technology. But, aside from reading this fine publication, you probably spend a good chunk of your time dealing with tech related headaches.
Firms trying to go paperless, firms still using Lotus Notes, and we’ve heard that KPMG is currently upgrading its basic operating system to run on…Windows Vista.
On the positive side, Deloitte is issuing iPhones and that’s basically all we got…
We asked our contributor, Francine McKenna for her thoughts on the Big 4’s investment in technology:

The Big 4 operate under the “shoemaker’s children” doctrine when it comes to their own technology infrastructure. Every once and a while you’ll see a big splashy investment but partners loathe spending their potential payout on common goods, and investments for the future: “If I don’t understand it or perceive a need for it, I don’t want to spend any of my money on it.” Very few of the rank and file partners understand or appreciate the firm’s technology infrastructure needs.

Discuss your firm’s technology (or lack thereof). The good, the bad, the stuff that makes you want to drop kick your laptop out the window.