Curtin University's chief information officer (CIO) Peter Nikoletatos believes that the private sector should look at higher education institutions to see how to implement a bring-your-own model for staff laptops and tablet devices.
Peter Nikoletatos (Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)
"There's been a huge take-up of [BYO devices] across the university," Nikoletatos told ZDNet Australia. He said that there are approximately 48,000 students across Curtin who are currently using their own devices on campus including smartphones, laptops and tablets like the iPad 2.
CIOs in the private sector have recently expressed concerns over the security of BYO devices after finance giant Suncorp made the decision to dump 20,000 prescribed devices in favour of a BYO model.
Australia Post's CIO, Wayne Saunders, said that allowing BYO devices in the enterprise was like "waking a sleeping dragon", while the CIO of Crown Group, Ric Lamb, added that the risk of data leakage keeps him up at night.
Nikoletatos said that he doesn't understand why it is so difficult for the private sector to get on board with BYO device models.
"Why would [BYO device management] be different for 5000 staff from 48,000 students? It's not," he said, adding that the university tracks student activities as they move across the network, no matter what device they're using.
"We track students across our firewalls and network devices and what people are doing ... we've got 48,000 students that BYO today and there are a lot of great controls about access of information and what they access. We've deployed some nice security tools to make sure the right thing," he added.
Suncorp has also placed a high value on data security, saying it will employ a virtualised, open source environment for its BYO devices to secure corporate data.
Nikoletatos said that BYO device models will continue to pick up steam in Australia, despite lingering security concerns from some private sector technologists.
We think that more and more people want to bring their own devices moving forward. Rather than use a desktop or a laptop or other heavy device, we use a form factor device [like a tablet]," he said.
Nikoletatos said that his next focus will be getting university staff using BYO devices.