The topic of mobility and BYOD has become a fairly divisive subject, because of the differing perspectives on how to resolve security challenges for the mobile user. Within the Security Week contributor set alone, perspective on this ranges from the complexities of dealing with BYOD to a recommendation to keep personal and business devices separate. The fact is, we all have strong affinities for our favorite mobile devices, and just as organizations had to embrace the desire for users to use Macs in the office (remember that controversy?), users are now making their own choices about the mobile devices they use at work. When employees are given the resources to do their jobs in more places, they find better and more productive ways to work.
The challenge is how to give users the full advantage of their mobility platform of choice without introducing risks to the business. A key part of that challenge is enabling flexible mobile security options depending on the device and use case. For example, an employee on an unmanaged device may just require access to the Internet, while another employee on a managed device may require full access to specific data center applications. Your mobile security solution should support both use cases.
While there are multiple considerations to secure mobile traffic, it’s the network where you must start. This means maintaining a secure connection, keeping the traffic across it safe, and extending it to all users. By retaining control of the network, organizations can embrace mobility by making it safe for all users in all locations, regardless of the device. Starting from this premise, it becomes much easier to think in terms of how to make mobility work for your organization by providing the security to enable safe usage rather than trying to prevent it.
If you’d like to learn more about mobility and BYOD security challenges, check out my latest SecurityWeek article.