BYOD and Cyber Security Collide

There is an ongoing struggle in the world of enterprise mobility, as mobile end users strive for greater flexibility and functionality while IT administrators look to lock down their organizations' networks with stringent protective policies. While these stakeholders are playing for the same team, their goals are drastically different, and it would appear that no compromise can be found between the two contingents. Can mobile strategies such as BYOD satisfy both end users and security advocates, or will this approach remain a polarizing dark horse in the enterprise IT environment forevermore?

More than device management
Although its initial iterations brought a great deal of controversy to the IT arena, today's BYOD has progressed by leaps and bounds thanks to the inclusion of new solutions that account for a more comprehensive approach to mobile asset management. As BetaNews recently pointed out, devices are only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to effectively leveraging BYOD policies - organizations need to deploy software that also tracks applications used in these platforms and mitigates the risk of invading end user privacy by segmenting storage blocks into distinct parts.

In addition, a mobile management suite should feature its own full-fledged security capabilities designed specifically for personal devices, as organizations' standard security measures generally don't extend into the remote access domain, leaving gaps in network protection. Finally, the ideal solution will include flexible policy creation and authorization capabilities which allow different levels of access to applications and data depending on an end user's standing in an agency. These functions add up to a solution that can both empower and secure all BYOD participants.

Embrace the unknown
According to Diginomica, organizations are still very skeptical when it comes to BYOD - an Oracle study reported that only 10 percent of surveyed companies are actively pursuing a personal device-enabling mobile strategy, and 44 percent of executive leaders try to actively prevent the policies from being incorporated in their IT strategies. At the end of the day, however, contemporary workers - especially those of the millennial generation - know what they want and will not be subtle in their attempts to sway tech departments to fulfill their demands.

Rather than hiding away from BYOD and all of its perceived hazards, agencies should dive headfirst into the fray - just so long as they have a dedicated service provider pointing them in the right direction with a comprehensive MDM solution.