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A strategic approach to BYOD in the workplace

Justin Chiah, Director and General Manager, South East Asia and Taiwan at Hewlett Packard and Aruba Networks | Feb. 23, 2016
Justin Chiah, Director and General Manager, South East Asia and Taiwan at Hewlett Packard and Aruba Networks, discusses how Adaptive Trust Defence allows business organisations and IT teams to take a strategic approach to addressing critical network access security challenges that BYOD and IoT bring.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Staff working remotely away from the office was pretty much unheard of just 20 years ago. Today, easily accessible Internet connections, highly capable connected devices, collaboration tools and social networking applications allow us to communicate and work together in many ways.

We are now into another major trend shift in the workplace, and that is of workers bringing their own personal devices to use at work. It may seem risky for business organizations at first, what with data security, unstable devices and devices infected by computer viruses. However, there is actually a lot of potential and opportunities for business organisations to reap benefits from this trend.

For one, many consumer personal devices are faster and more powerful than office hardware designed for business users. Consumer devices are designed to run complex applications and graphic intensive visuals. They are meant to be powerful so that they can work with the latest videos and games. Business devices or devices marketed to IT normally do not have very high specs as they only need to run business software like spreadsheets, word processing, and occasionally, presentation software.

Also, users are generally very familiar with their personal connected devices. These devices are part of their lifestyle. They use them to communicate with their loved ones, for entertainment, to get the latest information on anything that they care about. Now, if they also use the same devices for work, it would be ideal.

The main concern for many IT teams, understandably, is security. Personal devices bring a raft of corporate security risks. As mentioned, there is a potential for corporate data and network security to be compromised. Furthermore, younger workers who grew up in the era of the Internet and mobile phones tend to be more lax in their attitude towards security. In a recent survey we conducted, the GenMobile workforce was found to give little thought to security when sharing everything - connected devices, information, etc.

One way businesses can build a GenMobile-ready network is by starting from inside the perimeter. Business organisations can leverage known, contextual data that it can trust - a person's role inside the organisation, the devices and apps they use, and their physical location - to create policies that fortify network security, adapt to mobility needs and adapt to employee-owned devices. At Aruba, we call this approach the Adaptive Trust Defense. It essentially turns legacy perimeter security inside out. Adaptive Trust solves some critical network access security challenges.


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