If you are reading this post, you probably have a smart phone in your pocket. You may, in fact, be reading this on your Blackberry or iPhone in line at the movies or sitting at home eating breakfast. You might next check your work e-mail — a common practice, and in most cases supported and even encouraged by your employer.
But as smart phones get more powerful and, well, smarter, you’ll be interacting with robust business applications and company data from anywhere and you may be doing this without the support, protection or even the knowledge of your IT organization. Additionally, you may be bringing devices you’ve acquired outside your company’s IT organization. This process of using outside devices for company business we call the consumerization of IT — consumers are making the choices.
Like a lot of folks, I browse sites like Facebook, Twitter and other social sites daily — sometimes hourly — and have come to expect to use them on my mobile phone. This type of mingled use of business applications and personal sites on smart phones along with the consumerization of IT means organizations have a bigger challenge than ever managing and protecting active mobile users. Access to a robust computing infrastructure can be found in a phone the size of a deck of cards, and if you’re in charge of your company’s IT you have to deal with users who want to unleash that productivity potential.
So how do you balance the needs and wants of smart phone users with your business’ requirement to protect them and your valuable corporate data no matter where they are? Well, lets talk about that a bit.
The ideal secure mobility solution lets users easily and securely access the applications and data they need to do their jobs using their mobile device of choice, including laptops and phones. At the same time, the solution needs to enable you to easily manage the security risks of your network and users.
An effective mobile security solution has features that include:
- Security policy enforcement that is context-aware, comprehensive and preemptive
- A connectivity experience that is intelligent, seamless and always on
- Secure mobility across today’s proliferating managed and unmanaged mobile devices
So what does all that mean for a “real” person? Well, I’d like be anywhere and work on my laptop or smart phone without having to start my VPN, use some hard token or soft key to get my VPN connected, then finally be able to check my mail. I want it to just work so I don’t have to think about connecting.
Now let’s say I want to then use WebEx or Salesforce.com. I’d like the infrastructure to already know I’m logged in and to seamlessly sign me in to my apps. Also, if I go to Facebook, check my stocks, or check Gmail, I want to be protected from malware and malicious messages as well. Lastly, if my connection drops or hops from corporate to coffee shop, the connection should be re-initiated seamlessly, no muss, no fuss!
The bad guys never sleep and are always looking for different ways to get into your network and steal your valuable corporate data. Assuming you have a secure mobility solution that achieves this, you still need to keep on top of things. Your users are working 24/7 on different devices from anywhere, so as an IT security manager, you should too.
One way to do this is to not fight ‘em, just go ahead and join ‘em.
The Cisco SIO To Go iPhone application enables you to stay on top of the security posture of your network and keep an eye on the latest threats and security news.
Powered by Cisco Security Intelligence Operations, the Cisco SIO To Go iPhone App provides real-time info, and protects and enables you to respond to real-time threats to your network and users… and it’s free in the APP store.
Having the Cisco SIO To Go iPhone application is like having a Cisco security expert in your pocket. You can be proactive, not reactive, to what’s happening on your network and you’ll have the tools to protect you and your users in the palm of your hand no matter where you are.
So in a world where you and your users are expected to always be on the clock, a robust secure mobility solution is not just nice to have, it’s a necessity. It’s time to reach in your pocket, pull out your phone, and get some work done — no matter where you are.