Coping with the Complexity of BYOD Security

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BYOD: User Policy Considerations

Questions and key points companies should consider when establishing BYOD policies.

Thanks to the rise of cloud computing services and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon, there's a lot more nuance these days involving the securing of mobile computing devices.

While many organizations are still debating the merits of BYOD, companies that have embraced BYOD are finding that BYOD presents a number of challenges that go well beyond access. For example, should an end user be able to access personal applications such as games over the corporate network? And should organizations apply different levels of granular policies across different classes of devices owned by the same user?

Sasi Murthy, senior director for security at Blue Coat Systems, says BYOD is pushing IT organizations to develop more sophisticated approaches to security policies. But those policies can't be implemented unless there is a security platform in space that spans everything from the cloud to an appliance and back again. To that end, Blue Coat unveiled today Unified Security, a framework that ties together Blue Coat cloud services and the company's line of Web security appliances.

The end goal, says Murthy, is to allow IT organizations to granularly apply security policies wherever and whenever they see fit.

As part of the whole trend towards the "consumerization of IT," BYOD isn't going away. As such, IT organizations are going to have to address not only all the nuances of securing the actual devices, but also all the application services they access in the cloud.

The new reality of security is that each end user going forward is going to have multiple personas on the network that will all be a variation of a core profile. But as far as IT is concerned, each of those profiles might as well be a separate individual because each of those personas is more than likely going to have a different level of permissions attached to it. Assume that everyone has a PC, smartphone and tablet and it becomes pretty easy to see how even more complicated security is about to become.