Balancing the freedom of
mobility with the need
In most enterprises today the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has been a mix of freedom and control for both IT and end-users alike. The biggest challenge lies in balancing IT’s need to regulate and secure the corporate network and the apps and personal devices connecting to it while delivering a consistently high-quality and seamless user experience. Compounding the difficulty, new mobile devices and new security practices emerge continuously making it challenging for IT to pick a mobile security strategy that won’t quickly become obsolete.
The launch of the iPhone in 2007 kicked off a massive trend towards consumerization of IT products. Around that time Mobile Device Management (MDM) became the most popular practice for securing and managing mobile assets. MDM tools provided a way for companies to manage mobile devices— protecting the data held on them or remotely wiping them clean if lost or stolen. But this practice involves IT potentially adding their own security to an employee’s personal device and managing the data associated with it. Over time, some parts of the market have questioned the intrusiveness of this approach (think device-level PIN’s) and its impact on personal privacy.
Balancing freedom and control
More recently, new solutions that promise to deliver a better balance of control and freedom have emerged. In one of those models, apps are grouped together and placed in a container that’s password protected. Once a user enters a password they have access to all the apps inside that container. The data used by each app is secured across the apps in the container, and each app shares a common VPN connection to the corporate network. This method gives IT more control and delivers clear boundaries to the employee.
But an even more transformative approach is emerging, and it delivers more granular control to IT. This approach allows each app to establish its own VPN connection. The benefit is greater efficiency, one app can connect to a VPN gateway in one part of the country and a different app on the same device can connect to a completely different gateway elsewhere.
Organizations looking for a security path that won’t quickly lead to a dead end need to pick the right security vendor. They need to seek vendors that are open to partnering with other key players in the industry to develop holistic end-to-end security solutions. Organizations also need to pick a vendor that is committed to keeping up with market trends and that has the ability to quickly react and capitalize on them. Most importantly, they need to pick a vendor that embraces transformative change like utilizing new cutting-edge security techniques like app-level VPN. Vendors that meet these key requirements will help organizations provide a superior user experience that is supported and enhanced by better security—while continuing to evolve with changing device and security trends.