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The New BYOD Stocking Stuffer – What’s an IT Chief to do?

December 12, 2013

With smartphones, tablets and laptops expected to comprise a large percentage of attached network devices in a year or two, concerns will be exacerbated regarding network security and company data stored on portable devices, which can get lost or stolen.

This has corporate IT a tad nervous. Without proper safeguards and policies, many of these devices could end up as back doors into corporate networks and databases. Research by Trend Micro during 2013 identified 718,000 potentially malicious Android apps … in the second quarter, which was 209,000 more that in the first quarter!

It didn’t seem so at the time, but life was much easier when workers used only desktops inside the office. Maybe it’s time to get back to that … not actual stationery desktops but a secure presentation of a company desktop on any mobile device employees choose to use. It’s what is called a cloud-delivered desktop, and it can be accessed from any compatible machine, with processing and storage taking place on a central server. With enough network bandwidth and powerful hardware, this type of virtualized environment combines acceptable performance with high-levels of security.

Last year Flurry Analytics looked at smartphone device activations on Christmas Day, comparing them to the days leading up to the holiday. The average number of activations for the first 20 days of December was 4 million Android and iOS devices. That number shot up more than 330% on Christmas as 17.4 million devices turned on for the first time. And, 328 million mobile apps found new homes that day, too. We can only guess what’s in store for Christmas 2013.

What’s an IT chief to do? Stopping the tide from rising makes as much sense as trying to put a halt to BYOD. Instead, IT executives are paving the way by providing more access points for WLAN, upgrading existing ones and looking forward to improved wireless capabilities with the approval and adoption of  802.11ac, the IEEE’s wireless computer networking standard in 2014.

Cloud-delivered desktops reduce CapEx associated with physical hardware and maintain centralized management and control. Your most important data assets can now stay in secure facilities and not on end users devices. Rapid provisioning lets teams deliver consistent user applications to desktops in minutes.

Key take-away? Protect the data, not the device.

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About Peak 10

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Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest