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This post is for IT folks who would like to understand the minimum steps required to secure their network in an age where so many devices are attempting to connect to your network. An earlier post looked at developing policies for a formal BYOD program – this post is more about securing your environment (with or without a formal BYOD program). It covers employee’s personally owned devices that they bring to work with them, as well as visitors who are looking for a connection to the internet through your network.
It is possible to manage risk in your current BYOD situation today. Here are some tips and technology tools that take care of your existing BYOD needs now, even if your important BYOD policy plans aren’t quite polished yet.
1. Ask some basic questions
To get started on the road to managing the risk of your company’s mobile devices, seek answers to these questions:
Filling in the blanks to these questions quickly gives you a picture of what security scenarios you’ll need to deal with within your organization. Once you you have these, you can start managing them with some helpful technology solutions – right now.
2. Look at technologies you’re already using
Don’t forget to look at technologies you’re already using. We’ve provided an overview of 7 technologies that help create a secure BYOD environment. For example, Microsoft Exchange for ActiveSync has many BYOD-friendly features like PIN reset, device password policies, and auto-discover for over-the-air provisioning. Admins can use ActiveSync to set password policies, lock devices, initiate a remote wipe and control which mobile OS’s can synchronize with your organization through device access rules.
Also, do you have a Virtual Dekstop Infrastructure (VDI)? With VDI the virtual desktop stays securely inside the data center, meaning the network identifies the mobile device trying to connect as a remote monitor and keyboard with very little need for storing data. Leveraging your VDI infrastructure is one of the most secure ways to enable BYOD with limited network investments.A third example is network access controls
(NAC) which you may already have for guest wireless networks. A good example of a NAC is Cisco ISE, a policy-control platform that is device and location-aware. It allows you to implement security policies that dictate what a user can (and can’t) access remotely. For example: users can’t access tier-1 apps from their local Starbucks… but coming from a trusted environment like their home office, they can.
3. Invest in new solutions to fill exposed gaps
Once you leverage what you have, fill any gaps with investments in new solutions. Below, I have mapped useful Cisco solutions some technologies that enable BYOD:
Below, explore a list of the Cisco technologies (most mentioned above) than enable BYOD:
Learn more about Cisco’s BYOD technologies by emailing Softchoice Product Marketing Manager who will point you to the right Cisco expert to answer any questions you may have.
What external devices access your network the most often? What is your biggest worry with BYOD? Leave a comment below and one of our experts will respond!