Chuck Leaver – Are You Curious About BYOD?

Written By Dr Al Hartmann And Presented By Chuck Leaver Ziften CEO

If you are not curious about BYOD then your users, particularly your executive users, probably will be. Being the most efficient with the least effort is what users desire. Using the most convenient, fastest, most familiar and comfortable device to do their work is the main objective. Also the convenience of using one device for both their work and individual activities is desired.

The problem is that security and ease-of-use are diametrically opposed. The IT department would normally choose complete ownership and control over all client endpoints. IT can disable admin rights and the client endpoint can be managed to a degree, such as only authorized applications being installed. Even the hardware can be limited to a specific footprint, making it easier for IT to protect and control.

However the control of their devices is exactly what BYOD advocates are rebelling against. They wish to choose their hardware, apps and OS, and also have the flexibility to install anything they like, whenever they like.

This is difficult enough for the IT security group, however BYOD can also significantly increase the amount of devices accessing the network. Instead of a single desktop, with BYOD a user might have a desktop, laptop, cell phone and tablet. This is an attack surface gone wild! Then there is the issue with smaller sized devices being lost or taken and even left in a bar under a cocktail napkin.

So exactly what do IT professionals do about this? The first thing to do is to develop situational awareness of “trusted” client endpoints. With its minimalist and driverless agent, Ziften can offer visibility into the applications, versions, user activity and security/ compliance software which is really running on the endpoint. You can then limit by enforceable policy what application, enterprise network and data interaction can be carried out on all other (“untrusted”) devices.

Client endpoints will inevitably have security issues develop, like versions of applications that are susceptible to attack, possibly hazardous processes and disabling of endpoint security measures. With the Ziften agent you will be warned of these problems and you can then take corrective action with your existing system management tools.

Your users have to accept the truth that devices that are untrusted and too dangerous need to not be used to gain access to company networks, data and apps. Client endpoints and users are the source of a lot of harmful exploits. There is no magic with present technology that will make it possible to access critical corporate assets with a device which is out of control.



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