Look beyond BYOD, warn security experts

by Sohini Bagchi    Jul 19, 2013

network security

Enterprise mobility is undoubtedly changing the dynamics of the workplace. Thanks to the BYOD phenomenon that enterprises not only use their smartphones or tablets for basic activities such as email and collaborative tasks but also for their core business processes. This has raised a huge concern for IT leaders and others within the enterprise who are striving to secure the deployment of these mobile devices. But experts believe securing enterprise mobile initiatives should go beyond BYOD. What becomes critical is extending network security to mobile devices and applications.

Bhavin Barbhaya, VP-Network Infrastructure, AGC Networks explains that today security threats like viruses, malware, and other APTs often creep into the corporate network because of significant increase in user mobility, remote workforce, and the number of devices accessing the network. “In an age where mobile technologies have become pervasive, the scope of the security should expand from simply protecting pointed interactions to expanding it to the network, which is the only common link between enterprise data, mobile devices and users,” he says .

Several vendors are already bringing in MDM, encryption, MAM and SSL VPN solutions in the market. In most cases, a combination of techniques helped organizations to ensure a sufficient level of security. Nevertheless, the network it is often considered to be the best location to enforce enterprise-related security policies.

Analysts have also predicted a strong growth in the network security market as a new report by Infonetics Research reveals that network security appliance and software revenue grew 10% in 2012 to $6.3 billion and is likely to grow to $6.6 Billion by 2015. IDC has also predicted a healthy growth in the network security appliances, space particularly UTM and next-generation firewall.

By starting with network security and offering next-generation firewalls that can identify users and applications, companies can leverage Unified Threat Management (UTM) and other appliances to understand which devices have access to sensitive information and accordingly monitor and maintain security within the organization.Experts believe that for highly regulated industries such as healthcare and banking, the implementation of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) can also protect highly sensitive data. Network security based on UTM and next-generation firewalls can further control the access to the data center to virtual desktops.

A holistic deployment of network security in an enterprise not only identifies the network traffic but also brings an additional dimension to any organization’s security strategy for mobile devices.