Companies are increasingly seeing an influx of employee-owned mobile devices on their networks, a trend that will likely accelerate during the coming holiday season.
The influx of personal devices into the workplace--more formally known as the consumerization of IT--offers solid gains to companies in terms of productivity and allowing workers to be more flexible in how they do their jobs. The downside is that workers' devices can carry with them security threats and expose the business network to compromise.
Companies need to better deal with the security impact of employee-owned devices because the benefits are too great to dismiss, said Sanjay Beri, VP of Juniper's security and Pulse businesses.
"This is something that every company is dealing with," Beri said. "Companies should embrace it. It is definitely the right thing to do to empower your employees."
The landscape has changed in the past year, as well. In 2010, the majority of new devices were Apple products--iPhones and iPads--but this year companies also need to be prepared for Android devices, a much more complex ecosystem than the stringently controlled Apple platform, said Ojas Rege, VP of products for MobileIron.
"Companies have to get themselves educated on Android," he said.
Here's what you can do now to protect your network from the coming wave of employee-owned mobile devices:
1. Don't ban devices.
In the past, many companies have balked at providing access to their networks to consumer-owned devices. Yet the productivity gains from such technology are significant, according to a recent report commissioned by IT infrastructure firm Citrix.
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