Corporate BYOD Policies Brings Security and Productivity

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Ignoring the impact of smartphones in the workplace is no longer an option.
  • A well constructed BYOD policy will deliver security and productivity benefits.

BT has this week gone to market with its latest bring your own device (BYOD) proposition, its BT Advise BYOD Quick Start suite, which includes monitoring and security services. BT’s launch has been backed by an accompanying white paper ‘Bring Your Own Device’. The conclusions of this report provide further proof that (as this writer has previously argued) enterprises can no longer afford to be without a BYOD policy. The research suggests that around 50% of employees are now formally allowed to use their mobile devices at work, but that actual usage rates are significantly higher. In other words, most companies now know that preventing mobile device usage is a losing battle. What is more significant for enterprises, however, is that 60% of the surveyed IT managers felt that using smart devices in the workplace increased worker efficiency and 84% of IT managers surveyed believe that a BYOD policy confers a competitive advantage, with 31% suggesting that a BYOD policy gives a ‘significant advantage’. Of employees surveyed, 59% stated that they use personal devices to access files from company servers. With productivity advantages on one side and real security risks on the other, perhaps the biggest surprise in BT and Cisco’s white paper was that the research suggested that the number of enterprises with an official BYOD policy in place has fallen. Continue reading “Corporate BYOD Policies Brings Security and Productivity”

Government ‘Cloud Mandate’ Could Jumpstart Lagging Adoption in UK Public Sector and Beyond

John Marcus
John Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • The UK government’s G-Cloud Programme has suffered from setbacks, leading to limited uptake so far.  However, two recent developments – the commencement of the new G-Cloud iii framework, doubling the number of approved CloudStore suppliers, and the confirmation by the government last month of its ‘cloud first’ procurement strategy – should jumpstart British public sector migration to the cloud.
  • Increased cloud adoption by government organizations, and indeed the high-level policy directive behind it, should have a knock-on effect within the enterprise market, first in semi-state and non-profit organizations and then increasingly in SME and corporate enterprises.

The G-Cloud Programme is a cross-government initiative led by two UK cabinet ministers (Justice and Home Office) as part of the official Government ICT Strategy, designed to leverage public cloud resources to reduce public sector spending and consolidate data centres.  The initial focus is on introducing cloud ICT services into government departments, local authorities and the wider public sector via a new procurement framework for IT services.  These services can then be reviewed and purchased through the G-Cloud’s CloudStore, which offers over 7,000 services from more than 700 suppliers in the areas of infrastructure (IaaS), software (SaaS), platform (PaaS), and specialist services. Continue reading “Government ‘Cloud Mandate’ Could Jumpstart Lagging Adoption in UK Public Sector and Beyond”

Identity Proofing Is Key to Mobile IT and More, but Cost Matters Too

Sandra O'Boyle
Sandra O’Boyle

Summary Bullets:

  • Identity management solutions are traditionally associated with hardware tokens and passwords, and while these continue to be used and enhanced, they do not work for everyone (e.g., hardware tokens offer better assurance but can be expensive, and it can take time to ship a new token if someone loses one).  Passwords will continue to be widely used, but remembering multiple passwords, for both personal and business use, requires keeping them simple or using the same ones over and over – which in itself defeats the whole purpose of security.
  • Some enterprises are starting to move towards soft token multi-tenanted solutions that require multiple-factor authentication, yet are globally available in nature, flexible (with no limit on devices and options) and include authentication apps for smartphones and iPads.  Service providers such as Verizon are offering identity management services based on a multi-tenanted authentication platform that is hosted and managed by the service provider in its data center; this helps to keep costs down.  This approach is being positioned by service providers as ‘identity-as-a-service’ where companies pay a per-user fee.  In the future, Google and others will also be experimenting with biometrics and facial recognition as part of identity proofing and securing access to devices, but these are still some way off from enterprise reality.
  • The use of a multi-tenanted authentication server provides an easy-to-use management and reporting interface and a flexible price model, compared to the majority of two-factor authentication providers which offer a traditional on-premises solution without multi-tenancy.  These solutions can certainly be used in a cloud context, but they will be required to run either on the customer site, resulting in cost and complexity for the cloud service provider, or in the service provider’s data center, which can also result in cost issues because the solution will not be multi-tenanted. Continue reading “Identity Proofing Is Key to Mobile IT and More, but Cost Matters Too”