The rise of consumer mobile computing devices such as tablets and smartphones has lead to an increase in their use on private networks owned by businesses, schools, non-profit and government entities. Network administrators must balance the risks and rewards of allowing employee and visitor computing devices through their doors and onto their networks. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges associated with BYOD and how Untangle can help.
The BYOD revolution is being fueled by the flexibility and power of mobile computing. Suddenly, employees and students can be more productive – accessing email and apps anytime, anywhere – with a mobile device. This makes for a win-win situation, lowering organizational costs and increasing end user delight. It also allows greater choice in device type, whether users are simply more comfortable on iOS or Android; tablet, phablet or phone. Finally, it also theoretically cuts down on mobile device management (MDM) for organization-issued devices, relieving a time sink for IT.
The flip side of BYOD is hidden risks and their related costs which must be factored in to any evaluation of a BYOD program.
The most important thing an organization can do is to develop and articulate a position around BYOD. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Instead, bring together stakeholders from IT, legal, finance and compliance within an organization to weigh the pros and cons of BYOD within your specific context, then clearly define a policy. Evangelize it with end user education and communication – again and again.
The next piece of the puzzle it to figure out how to manage the point where BYOD devices meet your network. Untangle’s Captive Portal can help. Create a device-specific rack that’s more locked down than the rack you use for trusted, organization-owned LAN devices (that are hopefully audited and have client software protecting them).
BYOD is here to stay. The worst policy is no policy at all. Starting where the device meets your network is a safe and sane strategy, but your organization will need to review its policies and evolve as technology and use cases evolve. Leading the discussion will get your organization into the BYOD mindset as it ascends the adoption curve.