Security for GenMobile Still Top of Mind

By Trent Fierro, Blog Contributor
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GenMobile, an ageless demographic best described by an affinity for mobile devices rather than when a person was born, has been a boon for device manufacturers and unfortunately, people that are out to create havoc on an enterprise network. Password theft, malware-infused mobile apps, and ransomware continue to gather headlines across industries.

The funny part is that I still hear customers say that it hasn't happened to them so they're not ready to replace legacy AAA solutions with policy management, role-based access and real-time threat protection for BYOD and IoT related endpoints. Many forget that internal users are often at the heart of data loss, and lost productivity. It's not the industry embarrassing breaches, it's the little things.

I'd like to share a few highlights from new assets that were written by Free Space Wireless and The Economist Intelligence Unit, respectively:

Getting your IT Infrastructure Ready for the Digital Workplace: A Blueprint for IT Professional:

With the validation provided by the EIU study, organizations clearly understand that mobility has provided a strong impact on business performance. The disconnect revolves around how mobility may impact the security of assets within an enterprise. This is less clear.

The blueprint shows that:

  • Managing legacy networks and security implementations do not meet the demands of a mobile workforce, which in my opinion force users to resort to guest access and other means to connect personal devices.
  • Lack of a complete plan had many organizations race to deploy mobility solutions and are now dealing with the increased security threats of BYOD. In fact, 49% of those surveyed believe remote, flexible working was responsible for making them more productive. I can only imagine what percentage of remote access occurs on non-secure guest networks in cafes and other public venues. Unless the network team was closely working with the security team, this may be a very large problem.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming online at a staggering pace. No one is sure what will connect and how these devices will be controlled and managed. Most organizations are waiting until there's a problem. I don't think there's a need to be visionary in regards to security for IoT, but the basics, like device profiling can be indispensable.

Mobility, performance and engagement: How CIOs can contribute to business performance by shaping the employee experience

On the lighter side, this study looks at the benefits of getting mobile right. It's interesting to see our user's perspective on how technology drives their perception of a company's ability to perform in the market. Let's look at some of the data:

  • BYOD use, or specifically the ability to use a personal device contains interesting numbers. 45% of respondents see their organizations as good in this area. 17% belief that their company is bad at rolling out innovative technology. With the availability of easy to deploy policy management tools like ClearPass it's unbelievable that 17% probably cannot use BYOD.
  • Working from anywhere is another interesting aspect. Productivity is tightly associated with our ability to move within the office or outside, but we still see customers that do not allow their employees to reach internal resources while traveling. Again it's something that Aruba ClearPass and policy management can help with. When only 35% of respondents believe their organizations allow them to be collaborative and productive, there's plenty of room for improvement.

Regardless of looking at the data from a security or productivity perspective, both reports pinpoint areas that can benefit from improvement in your infrastructure and processes. Something that a policy management can easily help with.

Take a look at the reports and let me know how you interpreted the data.