Certainly BYOD is on everybody’s lips and is the most common and probably feared concern today. You can read about it in every single publication and blog, and all vendors – including those not associated with the topic which raises question of credibility – claim to have somehow a solution to let personal-owned devices securely accessing the network. There is a kind of belief today that moving forward all the devices will be smartphones and tablets owned by the end-users. That’s probably why most vendors articulate and shape their marketing pitch and solution (when existing) only around that specific hot trend. But let me ask you a simple question: do you really think that a true mobile enterprise strategy can only rely on these particular devices? Certainly not!
I can use my own example here to illustrate this clearly. Yes, I do have a personal tablet and I do use it quite often to access my company resources, especially when I’m traveling. But I also use my company-owned smartphone and laptop as complementary – if not primary – devices. It is true that mobility is now so prevalent that mobile devices have eventually surpassed other traditional devices as a primary means of communication, but these are definitively not going to fully replace them. What we can rather observe is a clear shift from PC based and corporate-owned enterprise computing to any mix of devices that are corporate AND personally owned.
In its last “personal/corporate-liable smartphone” forecast, Canalys predicts that, in EMEA, the part of the personal liable devices is undoubtedly going to increase over the next couple of years, but should not exceed 55% of all smartphones used at work by 2016, which means that corporate liable devices will remain an important asset!
So, the bottom line is that having a solution addressing the BYOD trend is unquestionably a need, but this is simply not sufficient! You have to think further, you have to have a broader approach.
At Juniper Networks we have identified three major user types when it comes to analyzing what does a true mobile enterprise consist of, each of them having specific requirements (see the picture below). These are “Guest Access”, “Employee Owned devices” and “Corporate Issued devices”.
Just to briefly highlight a couple of key requirements for each of the user types:
As an IT organization, you have to have the ability to cover both personal-owned AND corporate-owned devices, plus guest access, by notably putting in place a common coordinated network security, that is user centric, context-aware and that is enforced at every point in the network. You also have to deliver a user access experience that is simple and consistent. Finally you need to deliver a network, cloud and application access control that is identity-aware, standards-based, and device independent.
Most vendors only speak to or can address one of these three user segments, which is obviously incomplete. Credible vendors need to understand the full scope of the customer challenges, including their complete problem statement for the various types of users who access the network.
Being able to implement a differentiated access policy based on the user type is what we call at Juniper a true granular context based security that adjusts policy enforcement to the associated user security risks. It is so called Unified Policy and is part of our Simply Connected solution. The picture below is a very nice way in my view to explain the power of such approach. It is just an example of course, but it is very explicit.
We can bring business policy into security policy and give control back to corporate IT, enabling thus a true enterprise mobility. I’m sure you will agree it’s much more than just enabling BYOD in the enterprise, isn’t it?