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Mobile Devices Are Flooding The Office – Can You Rise Above It? [Cisco]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on August 9, 2012 by Melissa Alvares

By 2015, more than 10 billion WIFI-enabled devices will enter the market. Many of them will find their way into office buildings, changing employee habits and the way we work, as more and more users depend on tablets, smartphones and similar machines for a variety of daily personal and professional tasks. And as these devices become ubiquitous at work, more employees are expecting full network access, even on non-corporate devices.

Remember your first security policy? Good stuff on, bad stuff off. But these days, in our new mobile consumerized BYOD world, defining good and bad has become really difficult. And the one or two policies of yore have become five, ten and more. Plus, forget about just defining these policies, you now need to enforce them as well. Now there’s compliance and proving your network, flooded with these new devices, is actually still secure.

Keeping up with this stuff takes time, people and money. In fact, the so-called BYOD – or Bring Your Own Device – phenomenon is, among other things, putting tremendous pressure on IT staff to define fair access policies and enforce compliance. IT departments are seeing their resources being quickly drained by the increasing need to manage and troubleshoot this influx of devices – in some cases, these activities are consuming up to 30% of the IT budget.

To cope and rise above this challenge, many IT decision makers are taking a serious look at Cisco’s Identity Services Engine, an identity-based platform combined into a single appliance to help with policy definition, control and reporting. It provides administrators with all the information they need on endpoints across the network. Some of its primary features include:

  • Device Profiling – classifying devices as either personal or corporate
  • Posture Assessment – determining of the device is clean of viruses or suspicious applications before entering the network
  • AAA (Authentication, Authorization and Accounting) – providing full visibility and control
  • Guest Management — granting and enforcing temporary access to guest users

A core component of the Cisco TrustSec solution and Cisco SecureX architecture, Cisco Identity Services Engine’s own unique architecture lets you gather real-time contextual information about users and devices to proactively enforce governance policy across the entire network infrastructure:

  • Enabling compliance – creating consistent policy across the infrastructure for corporate governance
  • Enhancing infrastructure security – improving visibility and control over all user activity on your physical network and virtual infrastructure
  • Streamlining service operations – increasing IT staff productivity by automating labor-intensive tasks and simplifying service delivery

The Cisco Identity Services Engine combines all the functionality required to get tablets, smartphones and all other devices safely onto the network. Learn more about the Identity Service Engine’s fundamentals and how it can mitigate network security risks.

What questions do you have about Identity Services Engine, or BYOD in general? Is your organization considering the move? What barriers do you see? Sound off in the comments below- our team is standing by to help.

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