By Tim Naramore
Chief Technology Officer
BYOD is creating quite a hullaballoo in the IT industry, as enterprises scramble to manage the onslaught of employee-owned mobile devices and the challenges those devices create on their corporate networks.
Bandwidth and security are two primary areas of concern. The bandwidth strain from BYOD can be significant, and will only get worse as more employees rely on their employers’ wireless networks to access information and applications for business – and personal – activities.
In addition, Internet traffic from non-business related websites and apps can negatively impact an enterprise’s productivity, while service-affecting attacks from malicious code can jeopardize security and shut down a network.
Traditionally, with company-owned devices, IT departments could easily deploy and manage anti-virus software and other security measures. However, to solve the problems associated with numerous employee-owned devices, enterprises must shift their network and security control from the endpoint, or device level, to the gate, or network level.
Even with more devices on the network, most threats will still originate from external sources, so the corporate network needs a virtual barrier. This single, cloud-based control point should let IT dictate what applications and information are accessed by all devices, whether employee-owned or corporate assets, while helping enterprises efficiently manage and optimize their exiting bandwidth.
Network-based Internet security and content control systems present an ideal solution. Available now, these solutions should incorporate several primary features, including:
- Granular control of Internet-based applications such as Facebook and YouTube
- Bandwidth limits on allowed non-business applications without blocking those applications altogether
- Usage limits and controls that vary by individuals and groups
- Web security that proactively monitors Web content and blocks threats
- A network-based firewall that eliminates the need for on-premise hardware and software investments.
IT departments can’t stop BYOD, nor should it try to, but with new tools like Masergy’s Intelligent Internet Management, they can control how their networks adapt to and control this new reality.