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How BYOD can adversely impact your network accountability/manageability in 3 ways

By Gladys Alegre-Kimura, Global Product Marketing Manager, HP Networking

 

gak.jpgDid you know the analyst firm Forrester has found that over 50% of global information workers use 3 or more devices for work and IT does not even know about these devices [1]? The impact to the network with an additional load of 3X more devices can be numerous!

 

Here are the three main issues I can see.

 

Network accountability, performance and security.

 

Network accountability

 

What is network accountability? It is knowing the source of network problems. And the root of network problems generally originates from devices.  Networks are like highways, if you leave it alone, nothing will happen to it. The problems on highways occur when more and more cars are on it.  

 

gak_1a.jpg

 

When the load to the network increases by 3X, security risk increases while performance decreases. So how can you govern access to reduce the impact and also obtain information to assist in determining the root of the problem?

One way to manage network accountability is through network access policies. But in order to do so, you need to know the following questions:

 

  • Who is using the network? Employee or guest or special employee
  • What device is being used? Tablet, smart phone or desktop
  • Where are they trying to access the network from? Lobby, cafeteria, secured area
  • What time of day are they trying to access the network from? Work hours or off work hours

You don’t want someone to be accessing the network transferring company sensitive information to their tablet at 2am in the morning, Do you?

 

Having network accountability will allow you to govern access to improve your security risk and reduce impact to network performance.

 

Network Performance

 

The impact to network performance is fairly obvious if there are 3X more devices on the network. As with the highway, 3x more cars may cause traffic congestion if there is not enough capacity to handle the load. If you don’t have enough capacity, users will not be able to connect or even worse, their experience will cripple along like the days of dial-up.

 

  • Even if your infrastructure can handle the load, does it handle the load in an optimized way?
  • Does your wireless network provide continuous connectivity if there is interference or dead spots?

 

Most likely, if you are expanding the network to handle the performance, you are most likely expanding the wireless network, which poses additional management and visibility problems since it’s a separate network requiring separate tools. So the way you address your performance challenge lends to other challenges as well.

 

Luckily, networks are not as rigid as the highway. You can smartly build a network that simple to manage and can grow with demand of users and meet their experience expectations.

 

Network Security

 

Network security needs to be top of mind when you have 3X more personal devices accessing your corporate network.  Your network may be considered 3X more vulnerable to threats and malware. You may have fairly stalwart firewalls to protect the boundaries of your networks but security is at risk when you allow personal devices onto the network. You do not know what networks these devices have previously connected to, which sites these devices visited, what personal emails they have opened up on the corporate network. All of these activities expose your network to potential vulnerabilities. What steps can you take to prevent threats and reduce exposure to risk? Even if you have smart tools, how can you manage security for BYOD simply?

 

Network accountability, performance and security are definite considerations if you allow BYOD. HP can help you solve your BYOD challenges with a complete and unified solution. Stay tuned to find out how.

 
Find out more about HP BYOD solutions.
 

>> Learn more about HP Networking products and solutions.

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[1] Forrester Research, “ Info Workers Using Mobile And Personal Devices For Work Will Transform Personal Tech Markets,” February 22, 2012

 

Labels: BYOD
Comments
msmith | ‎02-15-2013 09:33 PM

BYOD throws an administrators "scheduled downtime" out the window. People connect to resources through the network 24/7, now that they are enabled to.

 

Security is no accident!

 

I ill stay tuned to find out how HP can solve these BYOD challenges!

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