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BYOD and the Consumerization of IT

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Protect your Information across any device, any application, anywhere

Keep your users safe and productive with increased visibility and control over BYOD.

Can you protect sensitive information for all end user activities on all devices using all applications?

As enterprises like yours embrace a flexible workspace for the productivity benefits it provides, you must also address the risks inherent in letting employees use personally owned mobile devices, public data networks, and consumer applications. In a Forrester Research study, 12% of enterprises saw an increase in productivity by implementing BYOD.

Yet, the intimidating openness needed to foster productivity opens the door to a whole new set of security challenges. Your users are no longer limited to operating within the traditional parameters of their company-issued device or the corporate applications and network. So you need to be prepared to protect their information flowing in an anytime, anywhere, any-device world. In other words, consumerization is shifting your focus from securing the device to securing the user.

Your primary objective is to empower your employees with the productivity tools, applications and information they need to do their jobs. But at the same time, you need to mitigate the risks involved in handling sensitive information. And ideally, you’ll be able to do so in a way that is low-cost and agile to manage.



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To effectively mitigate risks, you need to secure end-user activities, not just devices.

Your users perform a variety of job-related activities whether they are in the office or on the road. All of these activities can put your valuable information in jeopardy. You need to be prepared to secure the exchange of sensitive data in a variety of ways.

  • Email is particularly risky for end users.
    Spear phishing emails are the preferred entry point into organizations for advanced persistent threats. Once a malicious attachment is opened or the website link clicked, a device can be controlled by the attacker. This makes spear phishing a very practical way to gain access to your organization’s network and its resident assets.
  • Untethered web browsing exposes your end users.
    Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in trusted websites to take control of an unwitting user’s machine. In addition, employees often use their work devices to access consumer oriented websites, which are more likely to be compromised. You need to be able to control all web access to reduce the risk of compromise and sensitive information theft.
  • Fluid data is the most difficult to secure.
    Anywhere sensitive information is stored, it needs to be protected from inappropriate disclosure by employees, and from physical loss and cybertheft. USB memory sticks and phones can get lost or stolen. Cloud-based storage can be compromised. All of these can trigger costly and embarrassing public disclosure if sensitive personal information is lost.


How do you balance the benefits of increased productivity with the challenges of data loss?

Consumerization has fundamentally changed the user environment’. Are you ready? In addition to traditional enterprise environments, you now need to protect additional operating systems, such as Mac, iOS, and Android. You need to secure widespread data sharing in new social applications and in cloud-based storage applications. Plus you need to secure data during transit over alternate network access points, such as VPN, WiFi, cellular, and cloud.

Ultimately, you will need to decide how much control you need for your particular environment. Do you want to limit protection to company-owned devices that access corporate applications with strict security controls? Or can you accept a bit less control and allow personally owned devices that increase productivity? Or do you want to find the right mix of the two depending on the individual risk—an executive accessing company financial results or an employee accessing email?

Regardless of the approach that you take, you can achieve complete end-user protection by gaining visibility across user activities and device usage. But will this increase your costs? The IT execs and CEOs that we surveyed did not see a noticeable increase in costs to gain the productivity benefits of consumerization in their businesses.

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There are several security factors you need to consider when you create a BYOD plan to address consumerization challenges. Ideally, you will be able to leverage a plug–and-play architecture with integrated DLP that lets you cost-effectively start anywhere and grow. And cloud–based global threat intelligence will provide real-time threat protection and more efficient security by removing the burden of updates from endpoints. A complete end-user protection solution should also include the following essential capabilities you need to protect valuable information:

  • Anti-malware protects users from viruses, zero-day exploits, bad web URLs, malicious file attachments, and more
  • Content filtering protects the productivity of your users, filtering away annoying spam and enabling you to restrict users from visiting undesirable web sites
  • Data loss prevention keeps sensitive information from leaking out of the organization via email and removable media
  • Encryption protects sensitive information on users’ desktops, removable media, in email, and more, making regulatory compliance easier
  • Device management increases security with detection, provisioning, and security-policy enforcement for organization and employee-owned mobile devices
  • Application control reduces security risk by ensuring that only authorized applications can be used on mobile devices, and by limiting which web applications can be accessed from any device

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