Designing a BYOD security tool? It is the PUS that matters!!

[Guest article contributed by Manjunath M Gowda, CEO, i7 Networks a “Agentless BYOD Discovery & Control” company].

I got the opportunity be part of a very interesting discussion among some of the top luminaries of the mobile enterprise space – the CIOs and experts in the mobile security space. (at TieCon conference, Santa Clara). The panel included Negi Prabhu, VP enterprise mobility CA Technologies, Ashwin Ballal, VP & CIO KLA-Tencor, Dean Lane, founder and president CIO Scholarship fund, & Shawn Wilde, CIO Trimble Navigation.enterprise_software.jpg

The panel mulled on a very interesting topic about what does it take to enable BYOD in the enterprise and what are the views of the CIOs. Of course all of them agreed that it is the security that matters most to the CIO. Shawn was very critical about the security threats that pose to organization, and in his view, it is the only issue that might stop a CIO to BYOD enable the organization.
He said that IT cannot own the complete problem and at some point might raise their hands about not able to secure completely when pressurized form the top management to enable BYOD. Dean completely agreed with this and his impression was that unless clear security solutions are enabled, complete enabling of BYOD would be very tough. Shawn added that BYOD is a pull force that IT cannot ignore and is a 100% pull force unlike other vectors they have seen before and IT has to come out with solutions sooner than later for sure. He also stressed the BYOD force is complete and clear and the only resistance that might come is due to age factor from those grayed ones J

Ashwin felt that MDM is critical and needed but not sufficient. It is not even close to solving all the issues but is just the beginning. Negi believes that this is a huge field of opportunity and is one of the disrupting force in the IT world, and what we are seeing is just the beginning be it usage of BYOD or security due to BYOD. It is not just the smart phones and it is not just 3 or 4 devices per employee but very soon employees will be getting many devices of their own that you can’t even think of now, and can be easily fifty per employee and managing them and providing security will be huge opportunity in the days to come.

Negi strongly believes that three things that one should take care of when you design the next generation of BYOD security tools – the PUS – Security / User Experience (UE) and Privacy. He was very critical about some of the tools (MDM, Containerizations etc.) who provides their own UE in the name of security and he questioned whether anyone in this world can provide a better UE than Apple themselves and by making users to stick to their UE, they are killing the solutions even before it matures.

Shawn stressed the fact that when you build BYOD security tools focus on one issue and solve it very well and do it very good. Don’t build a Swiss Army Knife was his one clear message to budding entrepreneurs in this field.

Negi’s view was the field requires really next generation innovative tools to tackle the most disruptive force of BYOD. An example can be say where data themselves becomes smarter and don’t need the help of an app to secure it. They will understand the context, the security and other parameters to show or to not show and self-destruct if required. I guess a lot more of new innovations are bound to happen in this BYOD security domain.

The summary I could take out was that the BYOD market is happening and is just the beginning and will grow into a huge market. Super focus on one area and solve it very well and of course three things to keep in mind when you design a BYOD security tool – PUS [Privacy, User Experience & Security].

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