One of the challenges IT organizations have with the proliferation of consumer devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs is that people eventually want to connect these devices to the corporate network. As nice as that would be, granting such access generally comes loaded with a host of security and compliance issues that generally make granting such privileges more trouble than their worth.
The IT organization, of course, could address those issues by deploying a more robust set of security services that, among other things, would include more granular identity management services. Cisco, for example, earlier this year rolled out Cisco Identity Services to address this specific issue.
But that can still be a massive undertaking so now Cisco is making available a version of its Cisco Identity Services that can be limited to a wireless network. According to Paul Durzan, Cisco director of mobility, the idea is that IT organizations can set up a separate wireless network to give users of smartphones and tablet PCs access to the Internet without having to connect them directly to the entire corporate network. That not only limits the risks, but it significantly reduces the cost of deploying Cisco Identity Services.
No matter how IT people feel about having to deal with the whole bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) to work phenomenon, the reality is that they are going to have to deal with it as part of the whole trend towards the consumerization of IT. Given that reality, the best course of action is to find ways to mitigate those risks for the lowest costs possible, which in most cases is going to start with the deployment of a segmented wireless network.