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On the Borderless Experience and Secure Mobility

When I talk about the Borderless Network to customers and partners, one aspect I try to articulate is that of the Borderless Experience—the idea that access and security should be transparent to the user.  The security department will care about whether I am securely connected to the network, with policies applied to my device irrespective of how I connect.  The finance department will care about whether I am using the cheapest method for data access, staying under my broadband quota, and minimising my international data roaming charges.

But all I care about is getting my work done, without having to fight technology to do so.

And this is what the Borderless Network is all about: seamless and secure connectivity, anytime, anywhere and from any device.

When I have secure and authenticated connectivity to my corporate network, whether wired or wireless, from any branch, or from my home, it means that network policies can be applied to my data traffic—irrespective of whether the destination is internal or external.

When I have an always-on, persistent VPN, it means that even when I am connecting from outside the office environment, all my data traffic can still be sent through the corporate network, ensuring policy enforcement is still taking place.

The policy decisions being made can differ depending not just on who I am, but how I’m accessing the network and what device I’m using.  And the policies themselves can cover a wide range of areas: protecting devices—and ultimately the network—from malware, or detecting and blocking unauthorised network applications, such as Farmville, Mafia Wars or Limewire.  Integration with ScanSafe coupled with split tunneling means that the corporate infrastructure—and more importantly, the WAN interface—need only focus on internal traffic, leaving normal web traffic to be secured in the cloud.  Granular web application control means users can still take advantage of collaboration through Facebook and LinkedIn, without the risks associated with embedded malware or the posting of sensitive data.

This flexibility becomes even more important when we begin to think about the many different devices people use today, and the associated implications of this consumerisation of IT.  Whether it’s an iPhone or iPad, or Android phone or tablet, users want the flexibility to choose the devices which fits their lifestyle.  And because these devices are increasingly being purchased by the employees themselves, a compromise between IT and users is required. Access to internal data must require Corporate policy control and enforcement, while cloud based security can allow for personal traffic to remain “personal” and yet still provide a level of security for both the employee and the business.

The Borderless Network changes the way we think about security. Security does not need to be an inhibitor to business and productivity.  In the Borderless Network, Security becomes an enabler.

Stay Mobile. Stay Secure.

—Mark

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