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Talk Security When You Talk BYOD

The verdict is in — and it is all about security. Recent research from The Economist notes that security is the top concern for mobility and BYOD. Organizations want to embrace BYOD but want control to ensure secure access to the network. Chuck Robbins, Cisco Senior Vice President, wrote a blog entry that underscores what we hear almost daily in conversations with our customers and partners. The organizations we speak to have mobility policies that range from no personal devices allowed at all (which is really not BYOD), to policies that permit all personal devices with restricted access, and still others that allow all devices with differentiated access based on the device type, user, and posture.

Some common differentiation access use cases may include:

  • Allow my sales force to access the proposal portal remotely from their iPads but do not allow them access to the finance database.
  • Do not allow any jail broken device, whether personal or corporate-owned, because there is a high probability it has been infected with malware. A device is considered jail broken when the user gains root access to the operating system, allowing applications or extensions to be downloaded that are not available in the Apple Application store, which increases the risk of malware infection.
  • Automatically check to see if the device has pin-lock and disk encryption (basic device security), grant the device the appropriate access. If not, it will be diverted with the non-compliance explanation.

Another interesting observation is many of our higher education customers are starting to see eight devices per user versus the three devices noted. Watch out! The next workforce has some real potential to influence the new workplace.

To help organizations get ready for securing BYOD, we have a paper on Readiness Assessments: Vital to Secure Mobility; check it out.

Stay tuned – later this year we look forward to sharing with you some further insight on mobile workers and their perceptions and behaviors regarding security. For example, how many folks download sensitive data on their personal smartphone? Or when an alert or pop-up warning occurs on their personal device what do they do? How many engage in risky behavior? Who is security aware? If you are a mobile device worker it would be great to hear your understanding of the security of your personal device in the new workplace.

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New Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client 3.1

Following up on our Data Center launch on Sept. 12, there have been significant enhancements to Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Solution, the industry recognized SSL/VPN solution. With a track record of leading the traditional VPN market, Cisco hit market milestones in the past with built-in features to the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client, such as network access manager that offers administrators the ability to control which network end points are able to connect to and other built-in modules that enable web security either through the on-premises Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA) or the cloud-based Cisco Cloud Web Security offering.

Now, with AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client 3.1, Cisco continues to help enterprise customers with their business transformation needs (ie-BYOD) securely.  As long as ‘consumerization of IT’ continues to gain inroads into the corporate network, IT professionals will seek investments in tools that will help support their attitude change from mandate to choice.  Having a mobile DNA has been a significant attribute for Cisco as AnyConnect continues to support one of the broadest OS (desktop and mobile) and browser portfolios in the market today.

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Telework Exchange Town Hall: Keynote Address

Today I am fortunate to attend 12th semi-annual Telework Exchange Town Hall conference in Washington D.C.

This year’s theme Mobility in the Fast Lane integrates two parallel tracks: Mobile IT and Mobile Workforce with best practice sharing around the rapid rate of adoption of technologies for telework, mobility, cloud, bring your own device (BYOD), collaboration, video and secure remote access to provide capabilities to address mandates including the President’s memorandum for 21st century digital government and the mobility strategy from the Federal CIO and CTO.

John D. Porcari, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation kicked off the conference keynote.  He is responsible for day-to-day operations of the 10 modal administrations and the work of more than 55,000 DOT employees nationwide and oversees.

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BYOD: Employee-Led Innovation Goes Global

 Millions consumers around the globe are buying smartphones, tablets, and other advanced mobile devices loaded with features and apps that can be used for business as well as for their own personal communication and entertainment needs. Many of these people have started taking these devices to work and integrating them into their daily workflow. This trend is often called “bring your own device,” or BYOD.

Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) wanted to know how prevalent BYOD is, and how corporate IT departments are handling these new devices in terms of support, network access, and security. In the spring of 2012, we surveyed 600 IT decision makers in U.S. enterprises, and then expanded our study in the summer of 2012 to include 4,900 IT decision makers in midsize companies and enterprises – in a total of nine countries.

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Securing the New Workspace

  • 100% IT is struggling to keep up with mobility trends
  • Mobile threats have doubled from 2010 to 2011
  • Around four in ten American users are likely to click on an unsafe link

And with all of these changing dynamics, user expectations continue to rise while the risk of security vulnerabilities rises. Yet, one of the expectations is a demand for safe access to essential business productivity and collaboration applications from anywhere, on any device (personal or organization acquisition), along with a consistent experience across multiple device types. This is the new workspace.

So, how do recent data center security enhancements play an important role in an ever more mobile and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) reality?  The reality of the ever-increasing proliferation of devices for each user gives rise to a need for increased scalability and security in the data center even more evident. Users who bring their own device expect a good experience accessing the applications that reside in the data center.  IT wants to ensure that applications delivered from the data center or internally are appropriately accessed and protected from any malicious actions. Securing a mobile and BYOD environment does not simply start at the endpoint; it must take an architectural approach from endpoint traffic traversing through the network to the data center.  Cisco takes a comprehensive approach to securing applications, content, and devices delivered to any workspace, in any location, based on type and posture, location and time, and user’s role—ensuring an uncompromised user experience and giving your employees the freedom to be highly productive.

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