Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer showed us that BYOD isn’t a fading trend. What does the permanence of this trend mean for your business's BYOD policies? Challenges in security, data leak prevention, and bandwidth limitations at the very least. But perhaps it also means an opportunity to be at the forefront of IT security innovation--by implementing solutions that work for, and with, your company goals. It’s vital for your organization to know the threats that mobile devices can bring to your network.
To counteract this feeling and avoid playing catch-up, RIM decided to innovate by recently launching a new beta platform to help Blackberry regain a hold both in the consumer marketplace, and with the emergence of BYOD, in the workplace too – but is this strategy working? Considering that the official release isn’t until 2013, a general consensus is that both users and developers are tired of waiting for this new platform. The excitement has waned to annoyance. But has it really?
If the user base is dwindling, one can easily assume that the number of developers creating apps, especially in a BYOD enviroment, would also dwindle, after all, who wants to develop apps for a company with a shrinking user base? But here are a few things to consider:
Bring Your Own Network (BYON), an offshoot of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, is steadily circulating in businesses around the world. BYON allows users to establish their own mobile networks even within the vicinity of their corporate network. The meteoric rise of BYODs and BYONs stems from their capacity to organically meld with cloud computing systems. However, since most mobile devices have the capability to create dynamic area networks (DANs) through embedded wireless hotspot features, the threat to internal networks becomes more imminent – stretching far beyond the presence of individual devices to rogue individual networks.
As small and medium sized businesses become bigger players in the world of business, they are looking to save money and cut unnecessary costs wherever possible. IT departments have become the most commonplace sector to scale down, with most companies looking to cut at least a quarter of their IT related costs. A fairly newer but extremely common way to cut costs for IT departments has been the adoption of the BYOD philosophy. Businesses can benefit from the fact that most of their employees now carry their own mobile devices for personal use, and can simply equip the devices with security rather than pay the ongoing cost of a business-only device. However convenient the BYOD movement is, employers and users alike should take measures to secure these devices as much as possible.
Recent research has shown that SMB's have been slow to adopt mobility solutions for fear of the threats posed by breaches in mobile security. With serious concerns around the security of the Android operating system, and the U.S. smartphone market predicted to grow by almost 30% in the coming years, it is crucial that the reported 86% of U.S. companies who have not yet adopted mobile security as standard do so quickly in order to secure critical enterprise information.
Technology never stops evolving. And the ever changing Information Technology landscape— now including cloud computing and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)—has had an enormous impact on IT consultants and the challenges they face. What are some of the ways companies and their IT departments are evolving to meet these new challenges? Read below to examine a few hot trends in network management.
As any CIO, IT professional or manager of operations can tell you, most employees have fully embraced the idea of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the workplace. But is BYOD good for a business? What are the advantages? What are the risks?
BYOD isn’t a fading trend. It’s here to stay. And Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in today’s business world are growing in acceptance faster than our mobile devices change. What does this mean for your enterprise IT network? Challenges, challenges, challenges to be sure. But perhaps it also means an opportunity to be in the forefront of IT security innovation--by implementing solutions that work.
Because it can go relatively unnoticed and it is hard to regulate, many organizations tend to dislike BYOD. The heterogenous systems, potential for viruses and hacking, and possible loss of data all present serious problems for an organization. But despite these issues, BYOD may not be all that bad. Here are a few thoughts to ponder:
- Happier employees: By allowing them to use the device they like and that can do the job, employees will appreciate the flexibility to do their job in the way that suits them. Happier employees can be more productive employees.
- Lower costs for more current technology: Because updates occur frequently, purchasing new software and/or hardware with each update can increase your expenditures and reduce your bottom line. But when employees are content to use their personal devices for work purposes, your organization gets a chance at trying out the latest technology without necessarily needing to purchase it immediately. Additionally, employees can tell you the features and pitfalls of each new technology. And that can help you stay current with your clients.
- Acceptance: Consumer devices will enter the corporate world – therefore it is better to find the right way to address, and possibly even embrace, this change instead of engaging in a tug of war with employees.
If incorporating BYOD feels right for your organization, here are a few ways to make it more secure:
- Find out what employees are using and for what reasons.
- Determine the greatest security gaps in the devices that employees are using. With this knowledge, your IT support or MSP can prevent issues or fix disruptions as easily as possible to ensure business continuity.
- Apply limits on what people can do. Not that anyone likes constraints, but identifying the most likely breeches and ensuring they are not used or encountered can help minimize disruptions. Documenting these reasons in your organization’s policies and procedures ensures that everyone is on the same page.
- Security: To manage security issues, applying authentication, defined authorization, rules, password management, and supplying credentials to access company networks, documents, and emails can also minimize potential intrusion. Additionally, if someone wants to use new technology, get them to inform IT before doing so in order to reduce potential security risks.
It’s estimated that in today’s workforce, some thirty six percent of businesses now fully support BYOD – Bring Your Own Device, at least for mobile devices. Depending on the surveys you read, that figure rises to eighty six percent if you widen the scope to include any kind of support at all, even if grudgingly given. Some people hail this policy as a great way forward in motivating staff productivity, while others take issue with the potential for security vulnerabilities and the burden of supporting a more diverse range of equipment.
Telling someone to BYOD is literally a four-letter word in many IT departments. Also known as “bring your own device,” BYOD is a cloud-based concept which allows mobile devices to access a private or corporate network. Employees can access the network using their tablets, cell phones, laptops and other mobile devices.
Regardless of how you may feel about BYOD (bring your own device), employees have been doing it already for years and the trend is growing. The meteoritic rise of social media coupled with users who want access to corporate data while on the road has strengthened users' position. Businesses have begun to look at the benefits of it such as cost savings in machinery, but security risks still remain. Let's look at how you can make BYOD work for your company.
Increasing numbers of small and medium-sized businesses are adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to provision their employees, but this decision has large implications when it comes to the type of IT services that such companies will need. Although every business is at least slightly different, some common trends are already clear in terms of the challenges that a BYOD approach poses once employees become used to high mobility.
Now that BYOD (bring your own device) is such a dominant part of the workplace in many small and medium-sized businesses, many firms are beginning to look for additional ways in which these devices can be leveraged to increase productivity, and along with it, profits. IT consultants can be invaluable sources of information about how to accomplish these goals as part of an overall BYOD approach to processing daily workflow.
IT security specialists working with small and medium-sized businesses are well aware of the potential pitfalls of a BYOD approach to provisioning employees with mobile handsets and tablets. The need for such awareness was underlined this month by news that the Apple App Store's efforts to keep out malware did not managed to stop an app known as ‘Find and Call’ from being listed. The same app also made its way into the Google Play marketplace, with the result that Android as well as iOS devices became vulnerable to the Trojan.
Apple's next-generation operating system, iOS 6, was announced last month and is expected to become available to iPhone users sometime in the next few months. Although the updated interface will include some new features that could be useful in a work environment, an important consideration in today's BYOD business world, it will also present IT support personnel with new challenges to surmount.
According to Jesse Lipson, Vice President and Data Sharing General Manager for virtualization leader Citrix, the company's main plan for the smartphone and tablet market is to leverage its web interface, CloudGateway 2, to provide applications to mobile devices, including full support for native HTML 5, iOS and Android apps. Lipson acknowledges, however, that many companies are not yet ready for the MAM (mobile application management) paradigm. Instead, small and medium-sized businesses are just beginning to dip their toes into mobile workflow by adopting MDM (mobile device management) systems.
IT support experts are paying close attention to a newly announced ‘mobile device strategy’ for the US Department of Defense. The strategy emphasizes the essential nature of employee training in order for these devices to be used to their highest potential in the workplace. According to Teresa Takai, the Chief Information Officer for the department, "Although mobile devices are the new and popular item in today's commercial market, this strategy is not simply about embracing the newest technology; it is about keeping the DoD workforce relevant in an era when information and cyberspace play a critical role in mission success."
Companies are continuing to look at ways of improving their security through their existing IT infrastructure, particularly email. If you recall the recent demise of the IT consulting firm HB Gary in 2011, the hacktivist group 'Anonymous' was able to leverage their archived emails to deepen their attack proving that lack of email security can have catastrophic consequences. Let's look at 3 new trends in email security and encryption that will shake up the security landscape.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), is rapidly becoming a common paradigm among American businesses. This tech provisioning strategy is particularly powerful for small and medium-sized businesses. By having employees use their own tablet computers or mobile phones for some business functions, management can save on money and resources. Even so, a BYOD approach to IT solutions does bring with it significant complexities to consider.
The old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is true in many contexts in the business world, but is perhaps most true when it comes to the decision to hire an IT consultant. By working closely with an IT professional, businesses can avoid the probability of proceeding on a trial-and-error basis when implementing a new system, program, or set of procedures. IT consultants have been down the same road before with prior clients, and can offer expert advice and guidance about the most cost-effective ways to achieve business goals.
The increasing popularity of BYOD (bring your own device) policies in small and medium-sized businesses is leading more companies to investigate the advantages of a managed programs approach to IT support and services. Under BYOD policies, employees use their personal devices such as smart phones or tablets in order to complete work tasks. Such policies improve employee productivity because workers are more familiar with the operation of their own personal devices.
Any business where employees are using smartphones or other mobile devices to process workflow must find ways to secure the devices themselves, but this strategy in and of itself will not be sufficient unless content is also secured. One of the best ways to select and implement a management strategy for mobile content is to work with a managed services provider with expertise in this area.
A growing number of businesses and other organizations are allowing, encouraging, or even requiring employees to use their own personal devices such as tablet computers and smart phones at work. This strategy lowers capital costs for the business and provides a positive benefit to employees since in many cases they end up carrying fewer devices, instead of a personal smart phone and one that belongs to the business; they simply carry the former. The state of Delaware has been at the forefront of the trend toward this model. "We're thankful that we were able to get out a little bit in front of it," commented Elayne Starkey, who serves the state as its chief security officer.
BYOD, or ‘bring your own device’, can be a cost-effective way for businesses to create a more mobile and productive workforce, but without a proper policy in place to govern it, a BYOD model can all too quickly lead to behavior that is counter-productive to that goal. Businesses considering implanting a BYOD approach should first work with an IT consulting firm to develop a policy that addresses some major issues associated with this model for IT governance.
Two of the most significant IT trends expected to make a large impact on businesses during 2012 have already been underway in a limited fashion during 2011: BYOD and WLAN. Both trends involve technology that can benefit from a strong managed programs approach to IT security and services.
Before wireless networks were common, hackers needed to find a physical route into a company's systems. Even when that meant using a dial-in modem, the possible attack routes were limited by the available technology. The spread of wireless communications, however, has given malicious actors an unprecedented level of opportunity. When this consideration is paired with the fact that WLANs, wireless local area networks, often possess weaknesses in their approaches to IT security, this can be a recipe for disaster.
The practice of BYOD or bring your own device is a somewhat controversial one in business circles across the nation. While employees may appreciate the convenience of using their own mobile phone for business as well as personal use, some companies are having second thoughts about this model. Security concerns play a large role in the conversation, as does the issue of employees possibly using company time for personal email and other non-work uses. This, of course, can become more frequent when a BYOD policy is in effect.
There is no doubt that integrating an employee's personal computing devices, items such as cell phones, BlackBerries, tablet computers, and laptops, with a business network can greatly enhance worker efficiency, allowing them to do more in less time. It can also increase employees' ability to progress through workflow when they are out of the office, whether they are at home for the evening or out of the country on a business trip. Unfortunately, the proliferation of handheld devices is placing a great strain on the Wi-Fi networks that businesses maintain to support their workflow.
As any IT manager knows, policies that instruct employees how to interact with technology will never be followed with 100 percent compliance. Sometimes, in fact, such policies cannot be perfectly followed since technology itself may take some of the decision-making out of the hands of individual employees.