Nine Consumer Technologies CIOs Fear

Some of them get it, and some of them don't. That's what our consumer technology survey found when we polled 311 IT decision makers about their views on consumer technologies in the enterprise. The survey found that 54 percent of respondents believe consumer applications are "inappropriate for corporate use," while more than a third say they take the draconian measure of shutting down any unsupported technology as soon as they detect it.

So we drilled down and asked them what consumer technologies make them cringe the most. The question was very simple: Which of the following consumer technologies pose the greatest threat to your organization? The respondents were allowed to select only one. And while there was a clear consensus on the number-one threat, other technologies struck notes of anxiety for survey respondents. Read on to see what they found worrisome, and feel free to add your comment to the mix, including any consumer IT threat we might have missed.

Threat No. 9: VoIP Clients

VoIP has entered the mainstream; talking online via voice doesn't bother IT departments much when compared to other risky activities. Only 1 percent of IT decision makers deemed voice-over-IP clients such as calls via Skype and Yahoo Messenger as the top security threat posed by consumer technologies. Since launching in 2003 (and eventually acquired by eBay in 2005), Skype, along with its competitors, allows users to make calls over the Internet to land phones, cell phones, or other Skype users. Studies have warned of security breaches, but Skype has added encryption around its service to prevent what it calls "unauthorized eavesdropping."
Photo illustration by Christine Celli