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BYOD FAQ's: Creating a Secure BYOD Wireless Network Solution

Written by Philip Wegner Philip Wegner | May 21, 2012

It simply stands for Bring Your Own Device, and it’s referring to the growing trend of employees bringing their own mobile devices to work, such as smart phones, tablets and laptops for personal and/or business use.

What is driving the trend to BYOD wireless networking?

The launch of smart phones and tablet computing (specifically the iPad) is driving the move to BYOD. When you look at device trending over the past 5 years there has been a significant shift to mobile devices. In 2005, 98% of the operating systems on the market were running windows (PCs). In 2011, only 50% of the operating systems being used by devices were windows machines. The shift was to devices running iOS (apple) and AOS (android)….primarily mobile devices.BYOD on Secure wireless network

Should organizations allow BYOD network access?

This is a corporate policy question, but if you refer to the previous question the answer is that it’s going to be hard to stop the demand for access with personal devices. We recommend companies figure out how to manage it or even embrace BYOD and figure out how to benefit from it.

What are the pros and cons of BYOD?

Pros: Employee flexibility, lower carrier data usage costs, and the big one is fewer devices for organizations to purchase themselves. For example: many school systems are opting to allow students to purchase their own devices. This can save a significant amount of capital.

Cons: More devices to support only this time they are relatively unmanaged, potential security risks, and could drag down employee productivity. The company doesn’t own the device which means they have less control of the device type, image and security settings. The network has to be designed to control the behavior of the device and manage risks.

What are the components of a network system to support BYOD connectivity?

  • Secure Wireless you need pervasive wireless access everywhere

    BYOD wireless network

    with plenty of coverage and capacity to handle the number of devices. You can plan on 2.5 devices per person in the corporate world and 3-5 devices per user in environments like Healthcare or Education.

  • Network Access Control your network security has to be designed with what we call “Role Based Access Control” this simply means you need a way to determine who is connecting to the network, what they are connecting with and then you can assign them a role that limits access to only the resources they need.

  • Next Generation Security Next gen security is kind of a marketing phrase. What I mean specifically is you need layer 7 visibility so that you can see the applications (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Pandora) that are flowing through the network and internet gateway. Your network security needs to recognize risky behavior like peer to peer networking and it needs to shut down services that look suspicious that traditional port based security may have missed.

  • Unified Performance Management UPM incorporates bandwidth management, WAN optimization, and universal caching to speed up web performance. Now that you have all of the users on the network with their personal devices, you’ll need to make sure you’re bandwidth is optimized to allow business apps (CRM, ERP, Mail services, etc.) to be prioritized over someone streaming Netflix.

If you’re considering allowing BYOD access, we recommend you find someone who has experience designing, deploying, and supporting these types of secure wireless networks. If you need help, you can contact us here to request a consultation.

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