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Network security in the BYOD era

Hamish Barwick | July 10, 2012
The bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon may be consumer-led, it may be tempting to also pass along network and data security onto employees, but doing so would lull you into a false sense of security.

"You can better protect the data because you are only seeing the virtual image on your device," he says. According to Websense's Tucker, businesses should remain focused on the most important objective--ensuring adequate protection of mobile data--while balancing the needs of users.

"IT executives should favour offerings that deliver a high degree of administrative efficiency and low total cost of ownership [TCO] based on their capacity for consolidation and incorporation of enterprise-class features, such as centralised management, directory integration, and robust reporting," he says.

In addition, a Cloud security service would also ensure that enterprises can have security available anytime anywhere, preventing confidential data loss on iPads, iPhones, Android, and other mobile devices.

Network protection

Gartner's Orans warns that if a device with incorrect configuration is allowed on the network then it could impact the network's stability.

"Another issue is that IT organisations are concerned about losing control on the network and they want to know what is on the network," he says. "Four years ago it was much easier to control the network but it's wide open now because of the proliferation of devices."

According to Tucker, a BYOD network security strategy should include the following features:

  • Unified content analysis that integrates Web, email, and data security to stop advanced, targeted, and blended attacks.
  • Enterprise-class data loss prevention (DLP) for email that guards both incoming and outgoing communications.
  • Flexible, dual policy management that supports separate policies for corporate devices and personal devices.
  • Protection from malicious apps, helping to keep the device and data safe from emerging mobile app threats.
  • Simplified, single-console management and detailed reporting-- reducing cost and complexities-- and giving time back to IT to focus on other projects.


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