...don't get it and continue to hang on to the old wired ways. In the worst cases, the wired rules are blindly applied to a new wireless world.
In the face of such obstacles, human frustration and ingenuity will find a way, and it can often lead to dangerous and risky actions by individuals who want to circumvent the rules. Opening up illegal wi-fi access right under the nose of an IT or security department is now very easy, and I find it happening more often than you might guess.
The bigger and older the organisation, the more of these wireless violations are possible to find. On the upside, the smartest of the violators realise that transitory operation helps hide their activities, while also offering an added degree of security. They also seem to have the nous to operate these wireless nodes as invisible access points, which gives some further protection.
The really risky approach is the wide-open set-ups with zero security I sometimes stumble across. These networks are based either on ignorance or some misguided sense of providing a public service. Here, trust is the assumption, and it is not a good idea. Trust is what you do when you don't know any better.
Rise of open access to corporate networks
My advice to both sides is to come clean and solve the minor problems involved in resolving this growing tension. Without giving away any numbers, I can say there is definitely a rapidly rising incidence of open access to corporate networks worldwide. And it is so easy to solve this problem.
More importantly, we need to recognise that wireless is now the norm, the tethers are fading away, and as a result our behaviours are also changing in ways that make Bluetooth and plain old wi-fi seem outmoded.
To my mind, the implications are profound with the opportunity to share screens, processing power and memory. This is going to be a world of amorphous computing, rather than one of isolated devices and people. In fact, it will be the social networking of the machines.
In the leading companies I work with I have seen the removal of dedicated offices, fixed-line telephones, wired internet access, along with the old ways of working and managing. Mobile phones, laptops, iPads, VoIP and flexible working are now the norm, and wired anything just doesn't work anymore.
The net result is always reduced operating costs, greater flexibility and adaptability and, of course, enhanced security.
Peter Cochrane is an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, futurist and consultant. He is the former CTO and head of research at BT, with a career in telecoms and IT spanning more than 40 years.