Can device management in a BYOD world be simple and secure?

Managing the proliferation of devices in today’s workplace is becoming a lot like herding cats.

It’s getting more complicated to provision and secure devices because of changes in our work and technology environments, said Chris Hazelton, Director of Marketing for Enterprise Software at Blackberry at a recent ITWC webinar.

There is a move away from traditional desks, as mobile workers do more on their smart phones, he said. Organizations increasingly need to provide system access to different types of workers, such as partners or temporary staff who use their own devices. As well, from wearables to sensors, technology is fueling an explosion in the number of devices to manage.

“For IT, there is a concern as to whether we have sufficient controls in place,” said Hazelton. Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem, he added.

Manage everything in one place

A unified endpoint management (UEM) system can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud to allow IT administrators to control devices on a single console, said Hazelton. The Blackberry UEM can manage all major operating systems including Windows and macOS, as well as iOS and Android for mobile devices. “It’s a great way to manage multiple users, types of users and a wide range of devices,” said Hazelton. It simplifies the work by providing a single integrated view of the users, devices, apps and policies in the environment, he said.

To protect the corporate system, a secure remote browser can provide easy access to central servers from any laptop, said Hazelton. “It’s a remotely hosted browser that provides a tunnel behind the firewall without opening additional ports to the organization’s back office,” he said. Users can access corporate servers, but none of the information resides on their devices. Since the browser isolates the device from the Internet, it protects against threats from malware or phishing.

For workers, it’s like using any other browser. For administrators, it makes it easy to add or delete access for non-traditional employees such as contractors or temporary workers. It also saves money because it eliminates the need for any infrastructure like a virtual private network or virtual desktop infrastructure

Meeting the needs of the Senate of Canada

Richard Beaupre, Manager IT Operations, Canadian Senate

The IT staff at the Senate of Canada had their hands full trying to meet their users’ needs. The Senate’s Information Services Directorate supports 105 Senators and their staff. “They are demanding clients that work remotely and travel internationally,” said Richard Beaupré, the Directorate’s manager.

But that wasn’t the only challenge Beaupré was facing. The onboarding of senators and staff members often has to be done with very short notice. The staff changes depending on the committee work undertaken by the Senators, he said. Senators need access to sensitive documents, but are constantly targeted with security threats. “It needs a fair amount of vigilance,” said Beaupré. Finally, the Senate required a solution that could support the management of Windows and macOS users.

Blackberry’s UEM and remote secure browser has addressed all of these challenges, said Beaupré. The Senate has rolled out the solution to half of its users and expects to complete the implementation by the end of the year. For Beaupré, it’s been a game changer. “It has helped speed the deployment of devices and the onboarding of clients,” he said. “Our device management was very labour intensive, but the Blackberry solution has made it much easier.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker has over 20 years of experience in IT-related fields in the public and private sectors, as a lawyer and strategic advisor. She is a former broadcast journalist, currently working as a consultant, freelance writer and editor.

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