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What BYOD Forecasts Mean for your IT Department

Posted September 14, 2015

Employees continue to bring a flood of devices into the workplace and increasingly are using them to connect to proprietary corporate resources and conduct business. The ‘bring your own device’ trend is bound to continue bringing new challenges for already overtaxed IT departments in terms of device support and security threats.

In this post, we discuss these challenges, including security concerns, and some of the ways that IT departments can manage.

Devices Arrive in Droves

IT community Spiceworks released a report entitled Weathering the Mobile Storm: How IT pros navigate a whirlwind of devices, security and monitoring. The report was based on Spiceworks’ survey of findings of 300 US IT professionals.

Nearly 90% of survey respondents indicated that employees are bringing at least one device to work, with smartphones and tablets the most common by far. 45% of these devices were employee-owned (BYOD).

Security Risks Grow

The same survey asked about corporate access policies. After all, these devices have the potential to introduce security risks when they are used to access corporate resources. According to Spiceworks survey responses from IT pros:

  • 28% support employee-owned devices to connect on a separate guest network
  • 25% allow employee and company-owned devices on the corporate network
  • 24% allow only company-owned devices on the corporate network
  • 22% lack a formalized BYOD policy

Underscoring the risk—and the need for secure access policies—is a report published in eWeek, in which Don Reisinger writes “The security risks associated with smartphones and tablets are nothing short of scary.”1

The Demand for New Skillsets and Expertise will Stretch Resources even Further

Adoption of more—and more types of—devices likely means that your Help Desk support team will require more time to manage these devices and the security safeguards on them. They also will need a broader range of troubleshooting expertise. Hiring and retaining the resources needed to fill the skills and resource gap could quickly get expensive.

Outsourcing some or all of your Help Desk Function Could Fill the Gap

Subscription or on-demand IT support services are set up with economies of scale. Outsourcing Help Desk to a remote provider thereby broadens the base of skills available to you. Offloading even some of the burden from your internal Help Desk Support may bring quicker resolution and return to productivity and ultimately could reduce administrative overhead costs.

Secure Remote Access is an Important Component in your BYOD Strategy

Providing a secure connection to your corporate network on company-issued laptops has probably become common practice. Now that policy needs to extend to other devices including tablets and smartphones. Remote Access SSL VPN provides secure, cloud-based remote access and extranet capabilities for authorized users using their choice of device. This includes access to applications and data files. Users connect through a Web browser using their network sign-in credentials and gain full access to corporate resources such as email and other applications.

MegaPath offers private networking solutions to enable your workforce to securely access mission-critical data across devices from anywhere.

 

1 Don Reisinger, “10 Mobile Security Issues That Should Worry You,” eWeek, February 11, 2014.

 

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