BYOD Over The Years

As of last month, however, a staggering 85 percent of companies support BYOD in some form—a drastic uptick from just 10 months ago.

The origins of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a little gray. Some say that BYOD started in 2009 at Intel Corporation when IT noticed their employees were bringing their own mobile devices to work and wanted to connect them to the network. At the time employees were using Blackberries, but they were usually corporate owned devices and controlled by the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES), so security wasn’t too much of a concern. It was when employees wanted to connect their new smartphone to their corporate network that IT began to be concerned.

Since then, the use of BYOD has grown dramatically. A 2011 global IT consumerization survey found that 25 percent of enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses worldwide supported the use of personal devices for business purposes. A 2012 Cisco Survey found that 36 percent of companies supported all devices and 48 percent of companies supported some devices. As of last month, however, a staggering 85 percent of companies support BYOD in some form—a drastic uptick from just 10 months ago.

So what does all of this mean for IT organizations? Management, security and more management!

At the RSA conference in San Francisco this past week, the Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) by ISC squared was released and they found that 78 percent of respondents see bring your own device (BYOD) policies as a big security risk. Fifty-eight percent felt they were under staffed to manage the challenges they face in today’s IT environment. Yet, device management and security are not new concepts. IT organizations have had the challenge of integrating new devices into their environment for many years, and have done so with success. LANDesk, for example, has been doing device security and management for more than 20 years. They key to securing these devices is having a management system in place to identify those devices, implement policies, and deploy security measures across a large distributed environment.

I realize that these new devices are new and post security risks like those powered by Android OS due to the lack of control over application development and the high risk of malware on those devices. So having a solution provider that understands the challenge managing and security devices and while your people productivity is important. In time IT will also realize (if they haven’t already) the challenge of trying to put yet another system in place to manage and secure mobile devices and will look to systems and security management vendors like LANDesk and Wavelink for a more streamlined solution. We certainly don’t have all the answers or all of the products to solve this complex problem, but more often than not experience is important to resolving endpoint management and security issues.