How to Handle Security in the Age of BYOT

Apr 07, 2016

 A recent Frost & Sullivan survey of more than 500 IT decision makers in the United States shows that two-thirds of organizations allow employees to bring devices and/or applications into the workplace, wherever that may be—a traditional headquarters location, a satellite office, a home office, or on the road. In related news, more and more company business is being conducted on personal laptops, tablets, and smart phones; and by using consumer-grader apps and services on personal as well as corporate-owned devices.

This is both a boon and a challenge for IT staff. In the recent Frost & Sullivan survey of US decision makers, 56 percent of respondents reported that their companies have a formal BYOT policy in place, and three-quarters of those that do enforce it using network-management tools. Mobile-device management and endpoint-security software are also in common use, followed by next-generation firewalls and mobile workspace management.

Still, most companies take an all-or-nothing approach to managing BYOT, often by locking down PCs and mobile devices so that no apps or services can be installed or used by the employee. That’s a tactical approach that may work from a security-and-control point of view, but it is not a great long-term solution—it prevents the company from reaping the vast benefits of BYOT, and it often leads to “shadow IT” scenarios, in which employees simply use their own devices regardless of company policy, leaving their corporate-provided gear on the sidelines, and the company’s IP totally unprotected. A better plan is to think strategically about which apps, devices, and services employees can and cannot use based on a rigorous and honest assessment of what does (and does not) pose a threat.

For more on how to do this--as well as a look at other key trends in the enterprise communications space--check out this eBook from PGi:

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Melanie Turek


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