BYOD Faces Many Challenges

Carl Weinschenk
Slide Show

Seven BYOD Management Tips

There is a strong case to be made, based on security and privacy concerns, against allowing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approaches in the enterprise.

But excluding BYOD is not really an option. BYOD is a fact of life, not a go/no-go decision made by the IT department or upper management. Whether IT likes it or not, the ultimate decision is made by the employee.

The good news is that IT departments and vendors are on the case, though there is a long way to go. "Nobody has cracked the code on the best way to support [BYOD]," said Phillip Redman, a research vice president at Gartner. "Most companies like one-size-fits-all solutions. But that is impossible in this case because there is so much diversity It is one of the top inquiries we get at Gartner. It is a huge concern."

There clearly are two layers of concern: The first and most important is developing BYOD platforms that are safe and secure. The secondary issue - which only trails the first by a slim margin - is determining the best ways to make BYOD cost-effective and efficient.

Threading the Needle

In the short term, the challenges are getting deeper. For one thing, applications being used by mobile workers are growing more sophisticated and mission-critical. Consequently, the data is more sensitive and resides in higher value databases and servers. This means that a lost or stolen device offers a more direct path to the organization's crown jewels. Imagine the dangers, for instance, of sophisticated phishing and spear-phishing attacks against personal smartphones that are doing double duty as work devices.

The second reason that things will get more dangerous before they are nailed down is because security and privacy tools must be developed and deployed across a number of operating systems that operate in significantly different ways. There are multiple versions of each of these OSes. That's a lot to nail down.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post

Mar 22, 2012 7:30 AM Jack Marsal Jack Marsal  says:

Agree that BYOD is very complex. MDM systems are great for corporate-owned mobile devices, but might be too expensive (or too intrusive) for personally-owned devices. And MDM doesn't cover personally owned computers (e.g. MacBooks) which is a valid type of BYOD. And don't forget network access control. NAC is foundational to security. NAC is simple to deploy, transparent to the users (assuming you are working with an agentless NAC product), and it protects access to your sensitive data regardless of what device the user is carrying.  Example:

Jun 4, 2013 12:02 PM David Flynn David Flynn  says:
Thank you for the informative post Carl about BYOD. Having devices in our pockets can be a serious security hazard. It’s always communicating via bluetooth, wifi, cell etc. Most IT departments implement IDS/IPS standalone appliances on the network to automate the security. But these always take a lot of configuration to setup. This is something that sales people never tell you: ) Reply
Jun 15, 2013 3:20 AM shamasharma shamasharma  says:
KocharTech brings you a secure and easy to use MDM solution to help you govern and protect your mobile data in the BYOD world. Your users can be productive both inside and outside the office without any kind of risk to the corporate data in the hands of your employees. Reply
Jul 18, 2013 4:21 AM Rahul Rahul  says:
BYOD is nothing but a marketing term from Gartner but the real challenge is to provide multi-platform support. The real solution is that organizations need to look at Cross Platform Tools (CPT) and judiciously pick the right fit for their organization based on the apps which they want to mobilize Reply

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