Work/life balance. Every company talks about. Some even back up the talk. With dual persona, service providers are at least making it easier to keep one work/life intersection better balanced—your smartphone.
Mobile devices, of which smartphones are a major portion, are rapidly outpacing the number of PCs on corporate networks. Why? One reason is that employees like the convenience of their smartphones and they’re more than happy to use them for work.
While combining work and life on one smartphone makes both more convenient, it also raises questions about the security of company and private information. Enter dual persona. This service, delivered by service providers such as Telefonica, Verizon, and AT&T, enables companies to designate two profiles on a single smartphone. One profile is for the employee’s private contacts, information, and applications, and is controlled by the employee. The second profile is for the employee’s company contacts, information, and applications, and is controlled by the company. Information in one profile cannot be accessed from the other profile. They are silo’d—in a good way.
This really is a win-win situation. Employees like dual persona because it ensures their private information remains private. Companies like dual persona because they know the company information remains secure and they won’t accidentally upload private information that might expose them to privacy violations.
So if you have dual persona on your company smartphones, do you still need Mobile Device Management (MDM)? Yep. Dual persona sets up the profiles on smartphones. But MDM is still needed to manage the mobile devices that can access the network, mostly smartphones these days.
And dual persona certainly doesn’t make network access and policy enforcement any easier. In fact, now each smartphone can potentially have two profiles rather than one. And each of those profiles needs to be governed by access and security policies determined by the device and the user. For example, the user’s personal persona profile could be granted access for web browsing but with strict bandwidth control using the IronPort Web Security Appliance. However, on the same network, the business persona profile may receive Internet access with more bandwidth and access to corporate email, applications, and services on the network. In other words, policy management using Cisco Identify Services Engine is even more important because you need to manage access for both profiles—anywhere on the network.
So, while dual persona is an important step in work/life balance and the protection of company and private information, it is not a replacement for good, quality network and policy management. That’s where Cisco, Cisco solutions, and Cisco MDM integration come in.