The past couple of years have seen BYOD adopted more widely by enterprises. While some enterprises implemented it as per organisational strategy, numerous companies have seen BYOD instigated by the employees themselves. Either way, network administrators have been left with no choice: like it or not, BYOD is here to stay.
It is only with practical experience that one can fully understand the problems associated with BYOD and their best solutions. For organisations looking for immediate answers, most IT and network administrators do not have the time to experiment with varied methods or hunt for for BYOD monitoring or management tools.
This is where channel partners must play a role.
Here is a look at the security issues that BYOD can bring to the network beyond your customer's intrusion detection systems, firewalls and access control lists.
Users will always misplace their smartphones or tablets, meaning sensitive enterprise data stored on such devices is lost as well.
In the worst cases, a hacker might even be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to the corporate network over the VPN.
Users may connect their mobile devices in open wireless networks while on the go, increasing the risk of downloading malicious content, picking up malware, and the like.
At the same time, the number of mobile apps has exploded. Billions have been downloaded, and no one can keep track of them all.
Users may install any application that catches their eye and among them can be non-business, bandwidth-hogging, malware-infected applications. We might start seeing mobile versions of peer-to-peer applications which hog enterprise bandwidth and spread malware.
While firewall policies may be designed to detect anomalous incoming traffic over the WAN, they are helpless against smart malware physically introduced to the network by employee mobile devices.
Once the user connects his or her mobile device to the enterprise wireless, it may take only a few hours for malware to spread and infect your customer's systems.
Employees might not enable a password lock, they could leave their devices anywhere, they may connect to any wireless network, download what they wish, fail to read security warnings, click OK in response to any on-screen message, and they might bring in the malware.
Employees are the weakest link in your customers' enterprise networks. Given a choice between dancing pigs and security, users will pick dancing pigs every time.
The answer is a combination of security and log tools and proactive network monitoring layered on top of regular security mechanisms.
Don Thomas Jacob is a head geek at SolarWinds
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