Addressing BYOD Challenges Using the Cloud

Cloud, BYODBring your own device (BYOD) policies are on the rise, and not just at startups: recent surveys have shown that over 70% of organizations either have a BYOD policy in place or are planning to introduce one. The benefits, from lower hardware costs to increased employee satisfaction, are clear. Unfortunately, so are the drawbacks – increased IT support costs and heightened security concerns among them. One surprising answer to these concerns may be cloud computing.

 

The Challenges of BYOD

BYOD policies buy flexibility on the employees’ end with a decrease in centralization and standardization on the company’s. Employees may choose to do their work from different devices (such as computers, smartphones, and tablets), on different operating systems, and from different locations. This may include accessing company data from unsecured networks and using devices or browsers with security issues or ones that aren’t compatible with file types used. This increases the burden on a company’s IT department, as they may need to become fluent in supporting a number of different platforms.

 

Cloud Computing’s Answer

While cloud computing may seem like a step away from controlling company data and employee access, it actually allows a company to add a layer of abstraction between employee devices and company resources. This layer can then be optimized for security and access.

Moving documents to the cloud, for example, allows the cloud-based service to enforce its own access protocols, and may also allow for more sophisticated locking, check-in/check-out procedures, and version tracking/control. Cloud services may offer two-factor authentication and other protocols for access management. And if an employee’s device should be stolen, having documents in the cloud – rather than allowing local copies to be kept on the user’s device – mitigates the risk.

Cloud computing can also be made more secure by mandating the use of certain policies and tools:

  • DNS firewalls. Part of the appeal of BYOD policies is the ability to work from outside a company office, whether at an out-of-state conference or a local coffee shop. But these unsecured hotspots may be attractive targets for opportunistic hackers. DNS firewalls, so long as they’re kept up-to-date with accurate threat data, can safeguard activity on unsecured networks.
  • Standardized software. Even if the devices show startling diversity, the software run on them doesn’t need to. Employees can be required to access company resources using certain applications on their devices, or even to use Software as a Service cloud applications. This narrows the scope of what IT needs to keep an eye on.
  • Requiring appropriate devices. A BYOD policy doesn’t have to mean that anything goes. A company can meet employees halfway by allowing them to use one of a variety of devices – so long as those devices meet minimum hardware and OS requirements, or come from a pre-approved list. Options available could be validated by IT departments to ensure that they are free of major security vulnerabilities.

 

Implementing BYOD

There’s no one-size-fits-all BYOD implementation, and cloud computing isn’t the only tool available. To learn more about the perils and payoffs of BYOD, contact us today.

The Importance of Edge Data When Choosing a Data Center Provider

Data CenterManaging all of a business’s data can become daunting as a company expands and experiences more distribution. Companies need to make sure that their technologies stay up-to-date to meet all of the necessary demands. One of the best ways for business managers to ensure that they don’t fall behind is to work with a reliable data center provider who can meet their individual needs.

In today’s environment, companies across a wide variety of industries and sizes are searching for ways to improve the overall control they have over data and distribution. To help make things simpler, many businesses have turned to cloud technology, along with a selection of cloud services to provide variety and cover all of their bases.

If a company wants to succeed and grow, a reputable and efficient data center provider can help. With the right services, a data center provider can even help a company develop more effectively than they would without their support.

Apart from generating comprehensive and effective SLAs, here are some other ways for businesses to make sure they get the most out of their data center providers.

Ethernet Services, Other Cloud Providers, and Data Center Interconnects

A data center is never simply a closed infrastructure. Good providers will offer a combination of ethernet services, interconnects, and services from other cloud providers. In fact, many offer services such as Interrnap, Amazon, Level 3, Rackspace, and Azure. Companies can also create their own platforms for CDN services through the use of Ayaka, OnApp, and others.


Custom CDN Management Capabilities

Many providers already offer international CDN services such as Amazon CloudFront, allowing customers to create their own management capabilities. A CDN provider should enable customers to control the flow of data, with native CDN management available in many cases. Many providers will also offer simple integration through REST APIs and others, along with management options using Python, PHP, Java, and more.


Optimizing for Heavy Data Distribution

For companies with heavy data distribution, a partner should have no more than two locations to help ensure that data delivery is consistently efficient and inexpensive. Solutions will vary based on a number of factors including the type of content that a company delivers, such as Yottaa platform content intended solely for mobile data services and web optimization. Company size will also affect distribution, along with other company-specific requirements. International enterprises will want to work with a provider that can handle global distribution needs, while a smaller company will only need distribution in specific regions.

With the help of a provider that can meet all of a company’s needs for data on the edge, a business can truly evolve for many years as it expands its market.