Endpoint Security in an age of BYOD


The proliferation of smart phones and tablets has created a population of users that have come to expect that they can have immediate access to any data anywhere that they might be. The popularity of smart phones lead to their sales exceeding all PC’s in 2011 and that was before the impact of tablet computing had really taken off. Every public location that encourages users to linger provides WiFi access, otherwise customers look elsewhere for a coffee and a connection.

In the enterprise, the pressure to enable fully mobile access to corporate resources is significant. Enterprise IT needs to get out in front of this trend in order to support mobile access in an orderly and secure manner, since users are inevitably pushing for quicker adoption than can be safely deployed for certain key applications. And we are talking about support across the full spectrum of applications: today’s pressure to enable email and sharing will morph into tomorrow’s demand for mobile access to systems used for SCADA and national defense.

Mobile devices all have limitations that require fundamental rethinking of IT requirements. This post describes the Four Pillars of Endpoint Security as an enablement tool for mobile devices in the enterprise, followed by a list of specific steps that you can take today to be prepared for the pressure to deliver tomorrow.

What kind of mobile devices will IT support?

The US Dept. of Defense found that the mobile communications of their warfighters in the Middle East was badly outclassed by the insurgents using cell phone for both intelligence and triggering bombs. Enterprise IT departments are facing a similar gap between their services and public experience with consumer on-line service. While the consumer driven approach championed by Apple and Android is dominant today, look for enterprise-class security features to be come increasingly important in the coming device generations.

The Four Pillars of Endpoint Security

Every enterprise has compliance criteria that have been imposed by internal or external regulations. The deployment of a new device technology does not free IT from compliance requirements. New devices must be adapted to the existing requirements. Over time we have developed the Four Pillars of Endpoint Security strategy to focus on the best practices for applying controls and achieving compliance.

  • Endpoint Hardening
  • Endpoint Reliability
  • Network Prioritization
  • Network Reliability

For more information on the Four Pillars strategy for BYOD, please see our upcoming September edition of the JW Secure Informer newsletter.

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