Day: October 18, 2012

BYON: Bring Your Own Network

The number of companies that allow their employees to use their personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones at work has been steadily increasing. A permissive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy has several advantages, including lower hardware costs and increased worker mobility, productivity, and morale. Securing these devices will require IT administrators to install remote access tools on them, integrate them into the company network, and set firm security policies and settings. To avoid the costs and hassles of integrating and monitoring dozens of mobile devices, companies can also sign up for hosted desktop, which centralize and restrict access to data without sacrificing mobility or performance. However, just when businesses had begun to get a handle on BYOD, employees have recently acquired an additional mobile capability: the ability to create a personal Wi-Fi network with their smartphone. Bring Your Own Network (BYON) has its own benefits, challenges, and solutions independent of BYOD.

Anyone can create a personal Wi-Fi network with a compatible smartphone or mobile hotspot. For example, certain smartphones have built-in Wi-Fi chips that let them convert cellphone signals into bandwidth. The phone can be turned into a router, connecting nearby laptops and tablets to the Internet. Just like a router, the phone protects its signal from unauthorized users and hackers with an authentication system and WPA2 data encryption. A personal Wi-Fi network beats the alternatives of a mobile data network and the Wi-Fi hotspots of cafes and hotels. Mobile data networks only support smartphones and tablets. Wi-Fi hotspots are slow, insecure, and pricey. Personal Wi-Fi networks are a more flexible, secure, and reliable way to for mobile employees to access their files and applications and stay connected with the office.

BYON also complicates the network security measures of businesses and IT administrators, however. Most company’s networks have carefully-implemented authentication systems, firewalls, and security policies and settings. Hackers can use a BYON as a back door, targeting its lesser access control and data protection systems to gain entry to a company’s main internal network. Any applications or data transferred from the more secure internal network to the less secure personal Wi-Fi network would also be vulnerable.

To avoid these access and security issues, businesses should sign up for virtual desktops from a hosted solutions provider. No data gets transferred to the mobile device with hosted desktop. Users have to log in to their web-based operating system to access their files and applications. The security of the mobile device does not matter in this case because anyone hacking into it still wouldn’t have any direct access to company data or systems. Virtual desktops also require no integration with the networks of mobile devices.

Businesses that decide to go with virtual desktops should select the best virtual desktops available: IronOrbit Hosted Desktops. Our partnerships with virtualization leaders VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix have allowed us to develop the most highly-customized Virtual Desktops with the best performance, security, reliability, and availability. Get Internet access from anywhere and access your files and applications from anywhere with a combination of BYON and IronOrbit Hosted Desktops.