By Justin Woolen, product sales specialist at Cisco

For some time now IT managers and IT decision-makers have come under increasing pressure to enable the use of personal devices in the work environment. In just a short period of time 'bring your own device' has become common business parlance. But for businesses, simply allowing access of personal devices isn't the answer. To ensure success it's a question of enabling relevant, secure access across the entire network, while protecting corporate assets and delivering an optimal user experience. However, there are quantifiable benefits associated with allowing employees to use their own mobile devices on their employers' networks. In this article at Cisco UK and Ireland will explore the challenges faced when enabling BYOD and explain how to overcome these challenges and enable BYOD effectively.

Minimise risk, especially data loss
As part of the decision to allow employees to use any device for work, including unmanaged personal devices, along with computer security incident response teams, companies need to consider security applications such as a tool that would block malicious websites before they loaded onto browsers. In short, they want protection against everyday threats–specifically those without a known signature. However, the solution also needs to preserve the user experience–not only to ensure productivity, but also to prevent employees from changing their browser settings.

What factors should be considered before introducing BYOD?
The specific demands of an organisation’s industry segment and corporate culture drive BYOD decisions. For many organisations today, the BYOD issue is less a matter of ‘No, we can’t do it’ and more a question of ‘How do we do it? What positive, responsive actions should we take to manage the mobile device situation in our organisation? There have been a number of organisations in recent months moving from either blocking or ignoring, to embracing. As a result, these progressive organisations are already beginning to see the business value, ranging from increased productivity to becoming a more inclusive and diverse organisation.

Completing the ‘Any Device’ Journey
Many people think BYOD is about the device, but it’s much broader than that. It’s about ensuring consistency of the user experience working from any device, whether it’s in a wired or wireless environment or in the cloud, in anyplace, which introduces interesting opportunities around the evolution of the workplace generally. It’s about the policy elements of interaction. And it’s about your data, how it’s secured, and how it traverses inside all of those different environments. All of these things must be taken into account when moving to BYOD.

All of these things must be taken into account when moving to BYOD — it really is a change in mind-set.

About the Author
Justin Woolen is a product sales specialist at Cisco and will be a guest speaker at the e-Crime Wales Summit in Llandudno on March 27th. To register your place, please visit: http://www.ecrimewales.com