Saturday, 25 August 2012

The BYOD challenge

Much of the headlines in the computer press over the past six months have been around the consumerisation of IT and the challenge of "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD). This in essence is people bringing their own equipment into the workplace/classroom etc and connecting this to the organisations network. With devices such as smartphones and tablet computers being commonplace, corporates are being challenged with both policy and infrastructure to support such devices. 

In the higher education sector however, this is something we have been dealing with for more than 10 years and we can offer a huge amount of advice to the corporate sector. Speaking recently at an event in Edinburgh I stressed that the challenge is not about how to prevent devices being connected to the corporate network - its more about making it as easy as possible while still maintaining a secure environment. This requires a review of the network permiteter and a change in mindset to traditional network management. Here at the University we are seeing students (and staff!) connecting a number of devices to our wireless network with 4 or 5 not being unusual. 

The unknown posture of BYO devices creates additional challenges however these can be overcome by ensuring adequate controls are in place at a LAN and application level.

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