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Mobile Device Management: Cisco Increases Security for Bring Your Own Device Program


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March 20, 2012

Mobile Device Management: Cisco Increases Security for Bring Your Own Device Program

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device is an attractive option for businesses, but it can be a nightmare for the staff down in IT without an efficient mobile device management strategy in place.

BYOD brings a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining top notch employees while giving them the access of workflow after hours. Security, however, is and will remain a priority when it comes to this growing trend.

Reuters reports that Cisco (News - Alert) has plans to secure personal devices of employees. A Cisco report found that more than 40 percent of college students and young employees said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility, so Cisco is looking to help meet those demands.

The BYOD solution provides Prime Assurance Manager and Prime Infrastructure, which help IT professionals understand application performance from a user perspective, accelerate troubleshooting and lower operating costs.

Choosing to ignore the growing BYOD trend brings the risk of losing out on productivity gains and seeming less attractive to new recruits.

"We find that the organizations we talk to fall into three groups," said Ian Foddering, chief technology officer for Cisco's UK operations, reports IT Pro. "There are those that embrace BYOD, those that ignore it, and those that block it. But the key thing is to have a policy in place, whether that is to enable BYOD, or to block it. Ignoring the issue is most likely to bring problems."

The cost benefit is no mystery, but security controls such as data-loss prevention, anti-malware and encryption shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Cisco solution addresses security with a single policy management plane, including guest, posture, device profiling and network access. Cisco also provides data security in the network (on and off premises) to help ensure IP protection.

The whole point of BYOD is to promote a better user experience. Professionals tend to be more productive when they can choose which devices to use, as opposed to being forced to use one they may or may not be comfortable with. While the concept of BYOD is still fairly new, mobile device management is not, and there are plenty of effective ways of approaching BYOD for the benefit of all involved.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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