The days of standardized PC configurations, all managed and locked-down by the IT department are over. Now, organizations are dealing with a multitude of endpoint devices, some owned by the company, but an increasing number are owned by employees. While Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is convenient for the individual employee, it can be a potential nightmare for an IT security team!
The BYOD phenomenon introduces risk, especially the risk of data loss, unauthorized access and malware propagation. Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems are gaining popularity among enterprises that wish to better manage the plethora of smartphones and tablets that are being used in corporate environments. While MDM systems can help IT security managers secure sensitive corporate data that is frequently stored on such devices, they:
…can only see devices that have already been enrolled in the system. This leaves IT managers blind to unmanaged devices on the network.
…are not designed to control access to the network. IT security managers need a way to prevent unauthorized devices on the network, and prevent infected, compromised or jailbroken devices from attacking the network.
…do not typically manage personal devices such as Windows, Mac and Linux laptops that are in widespread use, especially in healthcare and education environments.
…are often operated as a separate IT management silo by a group other than IT security, and as such, do not facilitate consistent enterprise-wide policy management and compliance monitoring.
For effective BYOD and mobile security, IT security managers can benefit greatly from a product that enables consistent policy management, network access control (NAC), compliance monitoring and risk mitigation across network tiers and endpoint devices. According to leading industry analysts, many organizations are integrating their MDM systems with next-generation network access control solutions to gain better visibility into unmanaged personal devices, enforce granular network access policies, automate MDM enrollment, and continuously monitor and mitigate endpoint compliance & security risks.
We’ve seen universities derive significant value from leveraging our CounterACT product and our ControlFabric® integration technology to implement BYOD. In higher education, the students and faculty are the customers, so the most important objective is to create an environment for student success, including the ability for the faculty, staff and students to use their devices to facilitate learning. In order to advance their BYOD strategies, the IT teams need to ensure that information assets remain adequately protected, exposure to security threats is minimized, and network stability and availability aren’t compromised. CounterACT’s scalable and non-intrusive architecture facilitates BYOD in such environments and enables users easy, secure and uninterrupted access to the network.
To learn more about how CounterACT and ControlFabric work with MDM solutions, click here.