BYOD Does Not Have to Mean Bring Your Own Difficulties
Wireless doesn’t mean defenseless
Every new wireless device brings with it the possibility of malware, viruses and other programs that could damage or disrupt the corporate network. In addition, because WiFi guest networks are open by nature, they are susceptible to piracy by users outside the enterprise, which can lead to performance degradation, security breaches and other problems.
But having an open network doesn’t have to mean leaving that network open to attack. When considering a wireless solution, security must be a prime concern.
(Virtual) power to the people
The days of an equal number of employees and wireless connections are over. Today, every person in an organization brings multiple WiFi-enabled devices to work. Monitoring these devices while ensuring an appropriate level of access can be a significant expense and can cause IT departments regular headaches.
Allowing managers to quickly and efficiently add devices to the network and control the access level for those devices is critical to keeping the network running smoothly. Every network needs strict network access control (NAC) and an ability to scale the breadth of that control. Otherwise, the network will quickly become clogged with devices and sunk by bandwidth leakages.
Extending network hospitality
Providing guests wireless Internet access is an expected courtesy in today’s enterprise environment. Business partners also need to be able to access resources through the corporate network.
Similar challenges exist for IT administrators whether they’re trying to add new devices or temporary users to the network. In both cases, network administrators must ensure that devices coming onto the network have the freedom to access outside websites, corporate directories and other information while protecting sensitive enterprise data. Since guest devices are not accessible to or managed by network administrators, here more than anywhere, security is of prime concern.
Also, provisioning temporary users on the network, such as hospital guests or students in a classroom, can be excessively time consuming for IT staff and can distract from other tasks.
Get the bandwidth, or fall off the bandwagon
Today’s devices have the processing power of laptops from just a few years ago, and every new generation is faster and more bandwidth-hungry than the last.
The number of wireless devices on enterprise networks is increasing at an amazing pace. The average enterprise network user carries four wireless devices, many of which are capable of processing high-quality, real-time applications such as high definition video. Most wireless networks were simply not designed to cope with this kind of demand.
According to a Gartner study, the explosion of wireless devices on the network will cause 80 percent of enterprise networks to be obsolete by 2015.
Wired speeds and service quality, without the wires
Guaranteeing Quality of Service (QoS) on WiFi devices is critical for businesses that want to realize the full benefits of the BYOD revolution.
Tools to set traffic rules and prioritize network flow are essential to ensure optimal QoS on mobile and smart devices. The ability to assign devices to specific service classes reduces the risk of service interruption and assures high-priority users receive high-quality service. The ability to regulate applications in a similar way can prevent secondary or tertiary applications from consuming undue amounts of bandwidth.