How to solve the BYOD security problem

Bringing your own device to the workplace (BYOD) may be the new normal today, but most enterprises are still grappling with the associated security risks.

Now, there’s an app for that.

“A secure browser is really a secure window into your corporate world from any device,” said Chris Hazelton, Blackberry’s marketing director for enterprise software, at a recent ITWC webinar. The browser creates a secure environment, separate from personal apps, that contains all of the business apps employees need to do their jobs

Secure remote browsers solve the challenge of balancing information security with productivity for mobile employees, said Hazelton.

The issue is pressing

According to IDC, 90 per cent of organizations support BYOD. They’ve been pushed to do so by several trends, starting with a move away from the traditional desk. “Employees are asking for remote connectivity to email, corporate data and applications,” said Hazelton. This is especially true for the millennial generation. “Millennials are taking over the workforce and this generation is used to a faster and more dynamic delivery of technology,” said Shawn Porter, technical solutions professional, Windows at Microsoft. “Many organizations today simply aren’t set up to meet that demand.”

Another complicating factor is that there are different types of workers in the workplace now. These include partners, contractors and temporary workers. “These non-traditional roles need support and to be productive and secure as well,” said Hazelton.

The rapidly changing technology environment adds to the pressure to enable mobile workers. Cisco predicts that, by 2021, 94 per cent of workloads and compute will be in the cloud. The landscape for applications is also changing. “We’re seeing desktop apps becoming operating system agnostic, so they can run anywhere,” said Hazelton. “Employees are bringing their own apps to help get work done and be more efficient.”  As well, the lines are blurring between devices, where phones, tablets and laptops have increasingly similar capability.

At the same time, attacks on devices are occurring at unprecedented levels, with a high success rate, said Porter. “These attacks will find you eventually.”

“All of this means that that you need to deliver secure access from any device, anytime and anywhere,” said Hazelton.

The benefits of a secure remote browser

Blackberry Access is a remotely-hosted secure browser that enables mobile access to the corporate intranet, as well as a broad range of web apps. “It’s a simple user experience that mirrors today’s browsers,” said Hazelton. “The user just opens it, logs on and they’re ready to go.”

By isolating the device form the Internet, it protects the corporate resources and SaaS applications against malware, phishing and ransomware, he said.

It’s easier to manage and saves money, because it eliminates the need for any infrastructure like a virtual private network or virtual desktop infrastructure. Blackberry also offers unified endpoint management (UEM) so that the policies on all devices, including desktops, can be easily managed with a single console. It’s all backed by the Blackberry secure network that supports mobile users.

“It’s a modern alternative that empowers employees with the best productivity tools while keeping them secure for the business,” said Hazelton.

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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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