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How to Solve BYOD Challenges with a New or Existing Wireless Network

Bring your own device (BYOD) is a deliberate IT or business policy where employees are allowed, or even in many cases encouraged, to bring their personally-owned electronic devices into their workplace.

While it sounds great in theory, BYOD presents quite a few inherent problems. In this article, you’ll learn how you can solve BYOD-related challenges with a new or existing wireless network.

 

Recent History of BYOD Challenges

Although the seeds of BYOD were planted a few years before, it’s widely believed that Intel in 2009 was the first to recognize and begin popularizing the trend of employees bringing their own devices to work to connect to their employers’ public networks.

The devices most commonly included within the scope of a BYOD policy are notebooks, tablets, and smartphones. For many mid-market and enterprise IT departments, and even some more IT-savvy small businesses, BYOD becomes a risk management problem because employees are allowed to use their personal devices to access company network infrastructure and applications.

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, IT organizations prided themselves on maintaining a high degree of centralization, standardization and control. However, with BYOD the opposite phenomenon occurs in what’s often called the consumerization of IT. Essentially the consumers of IT, also known as end users, are empowered to choose the devices and software that business leaders feel are needed to best do their jobs --- many times without the approval or even the awareness of their company’s IT staff.

 

BYOD Security Challenges for Wireless Networks

Ever since the release of the original Apple iPhone in 2007, mobile computing has led to great empowerment across dozens of industries. Before this time, it was a real novelty and rarity to see things such as a delivery driver asking for you to sign for a package on a tablet. Or a doctor taking notes during a physical exam on a tablet. Or using a wireless tabletop kiosk in a restaurant to self-order another round of drinks or dessert.

However regardless of whether you’re responsible for IT in a higher education, healthcare, logistics, warehouse, or hospitality environment -- or dozens of other industries for that matter, all of these mobile devices present some pretty significant security challenges; especially when it’s the employees that are bringing their own devices to work, rather than the devices being supplied and supported by their companies.

Think about the sheer magnitude of BYOD security challenges:

● How can you safely allow dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of external mobile devices onto your building or campus’ wireless network?

● What kind of resource strain will that put on your network infrastructure?

● How can you keep your wireless network fast, reliable, and secure?

● How can you track and monitor all of these devices, while simultaneously protecting your core supported users, applications, and devices from BYOD-initiated security threats?

The first line of defense on all of these BYOD security threats starts with Role Based Access Control (RBAC). When deployed correctly, RBAC helps you restrict wireless network access to authorized users by assigning roles and permissions -- in other words, controlling who has access to what.

 

Preparing New and Existing Networks for BYOD

Regardless of whether you’re planning for a new wireless network or you’re evaluating how to improve the performance, reliability, and security of your existing wireless network, the degree to which your company or organization allows BYOD will force many common sense choices.

For example, will you support mobile device management (MDM) -- which allows your end users to work and collaborate from anywhere, while you’re able to manage those devices from anywhere?

While there are dozens of different MDM options that you can choose from to better control how your company supports BYOD, look for an MDM platform that provides:

● Application Management

● Application Delivery

● Application Control

● Mobile Security

● The ability to segment personal and employee data

There are also two basic approaches to MDM security: identity-based security and next-generation firewalls.

Identity-based security uses logic to identify users, validate devices, control access, while it classifies traffic and applications.

Next-generation firewalls provide application visibility and go way beyond traditional URL filtering. This is especially helpful for being able to distinguish between peer to peer communications, social media networking applications, and your core business productivity applications.

 

Managed Wi-Fi Strategy to Stay Ahead of the Curve

When most of your end users are using mobile devices -- such as notebooks, tablets, and smartphones -- and your company has IoT-enabled devices (The Internet of Things), it’s critical that you keep your wireless network up to date.

What should your managed Wi-Fi strategy take into account to help your company or organization stay ahead of the curve with both your networking coverage and capacity?

When planning your wireless network and how it interacts with your wired networking infrastructure, look for features such as:

● Layer 7 visibility

● Centralized Wi-Fi management platform with real-time analytics

● Gigabit switching -- at the edge -- to avoid bottlenecks

● 10 Gigabit switching at the core

 

How Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) Solves BYOD Challenges

Now when it comes to assessing the inherent challenges with BYOD on wireless networks, how to prepare both existing and new wireless networks, and your managed Wi-Fi strategy for staying ahead of end users’ needs for fast, reliable, and secure network access, there are a few key areas to stay on top of.

This can be especially daunting for companies with limited on-site IT staff -- that don’t have the luxury of hiring full-time wireless networking specialists.

And that’s the reason why SecurEdge Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) was created -- to solve all of your BYOD-related challenges with new and existing wireless networks -- in a way that’s far more cost-effective than staffing up an in-house wireless networking team.

SecurEdge Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) includes all of the Wi-Fi hardware, software, and managed network support in one monthly subscription, with no upfront costs.

● Hardware as a Service (HaaS) -- Gives you best-in-breed wireless networking hardware based on expert Wi-Fi design and engineering.

● Software as a Service (SaaS) -- With the right tools and resources to manage your network, all in the cloud, company managers and IT administrators get the latest network monitoring tools and weekly health updates to keep their Wi-Fi network fast, reliable, and secure.

● Managed Network Services -- Because your BYOD users expect your Wi-Fi to be as reliable and always-on as utility power, HVAC, and running water, your managers and IT administrators get access to ongoing, expert Wi-Fi support with 24/7 network monitoring and level 2 support.

 

The Bottom Line on Addressing Your Wireless Network’s BYOD Problems

In a digital-first world, mobile devices play an incredibly important role in helping your team communicate and stay productive. However, when companies decide to embrace a BYOD policy or BYOD-supported culture, that freedom brings some inherent challenges.

In this article, you’ve seen how you can address some of the most common BYOD challenges on new and existing wireless networks. This includes understanding the recent history of BYOD problems, assessing the most common BYOD security challenges, preparing your new or existing wireless network infrastructure, staying ahead of the curve, and seeing how Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) cost-effectively solves all of these complex, inter-related problems.

To learn how SecurEdge Wi-Fi as a Service can help you address even the thorniest BYOD struggles impacting your new or existing wireless network, request a design.

While it sounds great in theory, BYOD presents quite a few inherent problems. In this article, you’ll learn how you can solve BYOD-related challenges with a new or existing wireless network.

 

Recent History of BYOD Challenges

Although the seeds of BYOD were planted a few years before, it’s widely believed that Intel in 2009 was the first to recognize and begin popularizing the trend of employees bringing their own devices to work to connect to their employers’ public networks.

The devices most commonly included within the scope of a BYOD policy are notebooks, tablets, and smartphones. For many mid-market and enterprise IT departments, and even some more IT-savvy small businesses, BYOD becomes a risk management problem because employees are allowed to use their personal devices to access company network infrastructure and applications.

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, IT organizations prided themselves on maintaining a high degree of centralization, standardization and control. However, with BYOD the opposite phenomenon occurs in what’s often called the consumerization of IT. Essentially the consumers of IT, also known as end users, are empowered to choose the devices and software that business leaders feel are needed to best do their jobs --- many times without the approval or even the awareness of their company’s IT staff.

 

BYOD Security Challenges for Wireless Networks

Ever since the release of the original Apple iPhone in 2007, mobile computing has led to great empowerment across dozens of industries. Before this time, it was a real novelty and rarity to see things such as a delivery driver asking for you to sign for a package on a tablet. Or a doctor taking notes during a physical exam on a tablet. Or using a wireless tabletop kiosk in a restaurant to self-order another round of drinks or dessert.

However regardless of whether you’re responsible for IT in a higher education, healthcare, logistics, warehouse, or hospitality environment -- or dozens of other industries for that matter, all of these mobile devices present some pretty significant security challenges; especially when it’s the employees that are bringing their own devices to work, rather than the devices being supplied and supported by their companies.

Think about the sheer magnitude of BYOD security challenges:

● How can you safely allow dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of external mobile devices onto your building or campus’ wireless network?

● What kind of resource strain will that put on your network infrastructure?

● How can you keep your wireless network fast, reliable, and secure?

● How can you track and monitor all of these devices, while simultaneously protecting your core supported users, applications, and devices from BYOD-initiated security threats?

The first line of defense on all of these BYOD security threats starts with Role Based Access Control (RBAC). When deployed correctly, RBAC helps you restrict wireless network access to authorized users by assigning roles and permissions -- in other words, controlling who has access to what.

 

Preparing New and Existing Networks for BYOD

Regardless of whether you’re planning for a new wireless network or you’re evaluating how to improve the performance, reliability, and security of your existing wireless network, the degree to which your company or organization allows BYOD will force many common sense choices.

For example, will you support mobile device management (MDM) -- which allows your end users to work and collaborate from anywhere, while you’re able to manage those devices from anywhere?

While there are dozens of different MDM options that you can choose from to better control how your company supports BYOD, look for an MDM platform that provides:

● Application Management

● Application Delivery

● Application Control

● Mobile Security

● The ability to segment personal and employee data

There are also two basic approaches to MDM security: identity-based security and next-generation firewalls.

Identity-based security uses logic to identify users, validate devices, control access, while it classifies traffic and applications.

Next-generation firewalls provide application visibility and go way beyond traditional URL filtering. This is especially helpful for being able to distinguish between peer to peer communications, social media networking applications, and your core business productivity applications.

 

Managed Wi-Fi Strategy to Stay Ahead of the Curve

When most of your end users are using mobile devices -- such as notebooks, tablets, and smartphones -- and your company has IoT-enabled devices (The Internet of Things), it’s critical that you keep your wireless network up to date.

What should your managed Wi-Fi strategy take into account to help your company or organization stay ahead of the curve with both your networking coverage and capacity?

When planning your wireless network and how it interacts with your wired networking infrastructure, look for features such as:

● Layer 7 visibility

● Centralized Wi-Fi management platform with real-time analytics

● Gigabit switching -- at the edge -- to avoid bottlenecks

● 10 Gigabit switching at the core

 

How Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) Solves BYOD Challenges

Now when it comes to assessing the inherent challenges with BYOD on wireless networks, how to prepare both existing and new wireless networks, and your managed Wi-Fi strategy for staying ahead of end users’ needs for fast, reliable, and secure network access, there are a few key areas to stay on top of.

This can be especially daunting for companies with limited on-site IT staff -- that don’t have the luxury of hiring full-time wireless networking specialists.

And that’s the reason why SecurEdge Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) was created -- to solve all of your BYOD-related challenges with new and existing wireless networks -- in a way that’s far more cost-effective than staffing up an in-house wireless networking team.

SecurEdge Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) includes all of the Wi-Fi hardware, software, and managed network support in one monthly subscription, with no upfront costs.

● Hardware as a Service (HaaS) -- Gives you best-in-breed wireless networking hardware based on expert Wi-Fi design and engineering.

● Software as a Service (SaaS) -- With the right tools and resources to manage your network, all in the cloud, company managers and IT administrators get the latest network monitoring tools and weekly health updates to keep their Wi-Fi network fast, reliable, and secure.

● Managed Network Services -- Because your BYOD users expect your Wi-Fi to be as reliable and always-on as utility power, HVAC, and running water, your managers and IT administrators get access to ongoing, expert Wi-Fi support with 24/7 network monitoring and level 2 support.

 

The Bottom Line on Addressing Your Wireless Network’s BYOD Problems

In a digital-first world, mobile devices play an incredibly important role in helping your team communicate and stay productive. However, when companies decide to embrace a BYOD policy or BYOD-supported culture, that freedom brings some inherent challenges.

In this article, you’ve seen how you can address some of the most common BYOD challenges on new and existing wireless networks. This includes understanding the recent history of BYOD problems, assessing the most common BYOD security challenges, preparing your new or existing wireless network infrastructure, staying ahead of the curve, and seeing how Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) cost-effectively solves all of these complex, inter-related problems.

To learn how SecurEdge Wi-Fi as a Service can help you address even the thorniest BYOD struggles impacting your new or existing wireless network, request a design.

wireless network design kit, wireless service providers,
Joshua Feinberg

Joshua Feinberg

Joshua Feinberg is President of the Data Center Sales & Marketing Institute where he finds revenue growth opportunities that companies are currently missing. This includes helping clients differentiate, get found earlier in the buyer's journey, achieve trusted advisor status, and command premium pricing power to drive sustained, profitable, revenue growth. He's been writing professionally for the IT services market since 1998 and is a former Microsoft Corporation content provider for its Small Business Server (SBS) product teams and small business channel partner teams. As a big fan of inbound marketing and inbound sales, Joshua holds 10 HubSpot Academy certifications. A New Jersey native and Rutgers grad, Joshua now lives in South Florida with his wife and two children.

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