Secure, Network Compliant BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Solutions
By Tyler McCollum
In a recent article featured on Forbes.com, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is described
as an inevitable component of the evolving office ecosystem. In the same article, a statistic
borrowed from an IBM study and reveals that 81% of organizations reported their employees are
using their personal mobile devices to connect to "company resources". If you are an AV integrator
or the head of IT, this statistic probably conjures fears of rampant network security risks.
But BYOD doesn't necessarily equate to network security problems. Based on the current
trend of using mobile devices in the workplace - secure, network compliant BYOD solutions are
almost certain to arrive in the very near future. It is up to technology innovators to meet
the market demand by developing, testing, vetting, and integrating the products to keep up
with the trends we see around us. In short, embracing the changing workplace dynamics - and
the products that support them - is likely the only way forward.
Like any other disruptive trend in technology, there are growing pains in the adoption
phase. One of the biggest growing pains for BYOD in the workplace is security. So what does
a secure BYOD solution look like?
We have identified 3 key criteria for secure, network compliant BYOD solutions.
1. Routable TCP/IP Traffic with Adjustable Base Ports
The complexity of many corporate and campus networks is often matched only by their uniqueness.
After all, the many subnets and VLANs included on the enterprise network were set up to serve
the unique requirements of the specific organization. Therefore the likelihood of any other
enterprise having the same network setup is infinitesimally small.
This is why it's so important
that BYOD solutions that hit the network feature routable TCP/IP traffic with adjustable base
ports - so the solution can be configured flexibly to fit the network without creating additional,
unnecessary work for the IT department. This is also important in order to avoid violating
IT policy, which could prohibit the deployment altogether.
2. Controlling Access from all those Devices
Another security risk associated with BYOD revolves around the regulation of access in
the workplace once these devices are supported on the network. To use a common use case as
an example, if a wireless BYOD presentation is taking place in the conference room, how do
you prevent uninvited users from sharing content to from their device and disrupting the meeting?
For this reason, access control is our second criteria for BYOD solutions. A solution
to this challenge would be to offer multiple access modes that can be set in-room or remotely.
Access could then also be locked by an admin or left up to users in the room to determine when
beginning a session. Additionally, access control options could be dynamic, which means they
could be changed during a meeting without interrupting the flow of information posted to the
In addition to these modes, it would be ideal if any session could be closed once all
in attendance have joined. This combination of access control options creates secure access
for nearly every type of meeting and use case.
3. Remote/Centralized Management
It's a hard truth that nearly all technology crashes at some point or another, and those
crashes can lead to big issues for the IT department and the network. That's why remote/centralized
control is such an important factor for BYOD solutions, especially large deployments.
Not having the ability to monitor, configure, and update BYOD solutions on your network
from a remote/centralized work station makes larger, more complex deployments difficult to
manage. Ideally, there would be a way to support remote/centralized management of every instance
across the network. Network administrators could then monitor, configure, and update settings
for any/all instances from their workstation anywhere on the network.
With BYOD becoming a standard in work spaces, security is and will remain a paramount
concern and consideration for evaluating new solutions. The best solutions with work with your
existing network and make it (relatively) easy for your IT department to securely deploy, monitor,
and manage the system. BYOD presents many inherent risks, but many of these risks can and should
be addressed by solutions that work within secure network environments.
Mersive is a leading provider of
wireless media streaming and collaboration software for corporate, education, and government
markets. Mersive Solstice software products allow any number of users to simultaneously stream
content from computers, tablets, and phones to any display - wirelessly from their own devices
using their existing network. Solstice facilitates collaboration among knowledge workers to
foster engagement, facilitate decision-making, and improve productivity in meeting spaces and classrooms.
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• Firewall Internet Security - The Basics of a Firewall
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