Kurt Roemer, chief security strategist at Citrix, was at GTEC 2013 last week to talk about the importance of having a mobile device management policy in the workplace.
Roemer led a workshop that focused heavily on BYOD arrangements that have become increasingly prevalent in both the public and private sectors. In the public sector, it’s especially important to keep sensitive data under lock and key. But Roemer was careful to emphasize that doing so does not necessarily mean organizations must keep their employees’ personal devices locked up as well.
He stressed that organizations need to strike a balance between user experience and enterprise security.
“You’ve got people who are bringing in these devices because they feel it’s going to help them in their jobs, it’s going to help them balance their lives better,” he said. “It’s generally a better experience than what IT provides.
“Of course, the big challenge with that is security. From an enterprise perspective, how could you redesign your security so that BYO is actually an asset as opposed to a liability? That’s the enterprise challenge today.”
He outlined several policy models enterprises can employ to secure mobile devices in the office, including Mobile Device Management, the use of containers, and application virtualization. Solutions like containers offer the best of both worlds: users can still have access to their personal applications, and organizations can rest assured that their data is protected.
Ultimately, mobile is the future, and enterprises must learn how to shape their IT policies to include it, Roemer insisted.
“Policy needs to not only be concerned with some of the historical enterprise ways of doing things, it also needs to address BYO,” Roemer said. “It needs to have a very strong eye to the future because the explosion of these devices and use cases is occurring at a tremendous pace.”