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The Tablet Wars Continue

Level 19

The heat in the tablet battles got turned up to 11 in the past couple of weeks. With Apple announcing the iPad mini, the new Amazon Kindle Fire and all the other competitors adding features and slashing prices, the consumer market is a good place to be. I find it interesting how quickly IT departments have adapted to the explosion of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) connectivity demands. My tablet has VPN software, so I can access my development VMs from anywhere I get 3G or Wi-Fi. This begs the IT question, "What are all these BYOD users doing and how do we manage them?".

Managing a BYOD World

One thing that makes managing BYODs fairly easy is the fact that they almost all use Wi-Fi to connect to the company network. IT departments can use the tools they probably already have to manage BYODs just like they manage most endpoints. Let's start from the connectivity with wireless network management. Wireless access points grant access to  BYODs just like any other wireless device. This means that the DYODs are subject to the same access and security restrictions. From there, the BYOD traffic usually accesses the Internet using the company IT infrastructure. So you manage whatever the BYODs are doing just like they were any other device. The BYOD traffic crossing NetFlow export interfaces are all NetFlow endpoints, traceable by NetFlow Traffic Analyzer.

A Word for the BYOD Users

BYOD does not equal bring you own rules. I have overheard a couple of BYOD users who were startled to find out they their device was denied access to a blacklisted site. They seemed to believe that because it was their own device it was none of the company's business what the accessed. I'm not judging here, just reminding that the rules apply to BYODs just like they do for your company laptop. That is not my opinion, that is just how the network handles endpoint traffic.