BYOT - big headache for IT, big opportunty for vendors

IDC predicts there will be 1.9 billion mobile workers, around 35 percent of the global workforce, by 2013. What are the implications for NZ businesses?

Mobile applications

Craig Richardson, managing director at Jade Software, says it is only recently that companies have looked beyond just the device when thinking of mobility in enterprise.

Last year the company launched Joob, an enterprise mobile software company that is part of the Jade Software brand.

Joob develops what Richardson calls a mobile enterprise integration platform (MEIP). Developers create applications which are wrapped inside of the Joob mobile framework.

Richardson says Joob then securely connects the application to a company’s enterprise system, essentially allowing the aggregation of enterprise data on a mobile device.

Richardson says Joob is designed to fill a gap in the enterprise mobility market for applications which connect with already deployed (and often very expensive) enterprise systems.

To Richardson, the idea of using traditional MDMs on personal devices is not appealing in the least.

“How do you control the device when everything about it is so open? How are you meant to do that on someone’s phone when they have photos of their kids, or personal information on their phone too,” says Richardson.

“Locking down a smartphone just isn’t feasible anymore.”

Richardson says security is controlled through encrypted connections from the application to Joob’s datacentres.

“The future will be sandboxed apps which maintain their own security,” says Richardson

Joob also provides solutions for companies who have stricter security requirements on data.

“For instance our banking clients in Australia are really big on the sovereignty of data, so we have set up systems which don’t use overseas datacentres,” says Richardson.

Joob currently works in partnership with external development shops to create dashboard apps for financial institutes and energy monitoring apps for utility companies.

Richardson admits Joob only has a handful of clients in New Zealand, saying the services are most useful in markets where smartphone penetrations are particularly high, for instance in Australia where he says there is a 50 per cent penetration of smartphones in business.

The internet of things

One company in New Zealand using Joob’s software is Arc Innovations, which is a business unit of Meridian Energy.

Arc has deployed over 130,000 smart meters across Australasia and uses Joob’s mobile enterprise platform to dashboard that information for end users and also the energy providers.

Arc’s smart meters are part of a growing trend of connected devices being deployed by businesses to monitor remote data.

Machina Research estimates by 2020, the number of connected devices in the world will reach 12 billion – up from one billion in 2010. The machine to machine (M2M) market is predicted by Telstra to be worth A$1 billion dollars annualy in Australia alone.

Telecom, Vodafone, and 2degrees are all putting their feet forward in the M2M arena; Vodafone and 2degrees are continuing to upgrade their 2G networks to keep up with future demand.

Gen-i says it expects the number of M2M connections to double in the next three to five years, but the company is working on M2M through Telecom’s WCDMA network, which does not have 2G capablities.

“That’s a bit of a misnomer in terms of resource,” McDonald says.

“While the actual packet throughput is quite low in terms of the size of the packets, the fact that they signal quite often overloads the networks.

“So you can have very small amounts of data but there is associated signalling — that’s the bit that can trouble the mobile network and it’s a much bigger risk than the data itself.”

TIPS FOR A GOOD BYOT POLICY:

• Engage the entire business, include HR and Legal

• Make any subsidies and costs clear from the outset

• Ensure every phone has a pass lock

• Have a method to track the location of a device in case of theft

• Ensure there is a remote wipe capability

• Make sure your staff are educated on mobile security

Mobility as a service

The three mobile network owners in New Zealand offer or plan to offer some level of mobility as a service this year.

Gen-i provide a mobile device management system (MDM) in partnership with AirWatch, Vodafone are looking to bring in the same unified communications system used by its sister companies overseas, and 2degrees offer a smaller suite of solutions mainly to manage data and voice costs across mobile fleets.

There are also systems developed by more traditional software companies. IBM is pushing its MDM which uses security software from Juniper, and fleet management through MobileMentors – while Symantec is looking to provide an end-to-end MDM in Asia Pacific, leveraging its security knowledge.

A common thread among all the available services is their recommendation to first clearly define a BYOT policy within the business.

Becky Lloyd, general manager of business marketing at Vodafone, says a policy which encompasses different business units, not just IT, is essential for a successful BYOT policy.

She says its important to get buy in from the areas of the business which most control corporate culture - HR and legal.

“When it comes to BYOT, there’s a blurry line between what is a hardcore IT responsbility, and what is HR or legal. The most important thing is to look at this through a business-wide lens, and not limit yourself to just an IT lens,” says Lloyd.

Securing mobility

The major drawback to establishing a BYOT policy in an enterprise is mitigating the potential security risks with consumer devices.

The business sector has spent over a decade refining enterprise security for desktop and laptop clients, while the smartphone and tablet space, as we know it today, is only a few years old.

Sean Kopelke, director of security and compliance at Symantec, says the level of malware on mobile devices is far lower than the level found on Windows-based machines, but he expects this state of affairs to change over time.

“Like with other frameworks, as soon as it becomes a popular medium there will be people who will look to take advantage of that popularity,” says Kopelke.

Kopelke says malware specifically targeted for New Zealand users is unlikely at this point, and predicts that local users will be subject to the same threat trends which occur overseas.

“This is a global problem. Trends in Europe and the US will be very similar to what you face in New Zealand,” says Kopelke.

Kopelke told Computerworld when it comes to security, not all mobile OS are created equal.

He says much of what makes Android an appealing OS, its relative openness and speed to market for apps, also makes it particularly vulnerable to mobile malware when compared to others.

“When you look at the Apple App Store, there is a fair amount of due diligence that goes into checking each submitted app,” says Kopelke.

“There just aren’t as many eyes looking over an Android app at every turn.”

Kopelke says that despite his warnings regarding malware, in his experience most security risks for enterprise mobility stem from lost or misplaced data and users being uneducated about potential threats.

In an effort to stave off claims that the Android market is dangerous, Google this month added a new layer of malware protection to the Android Market called ‘Bouncer’.

Bouncer runs all submitted apps in a cloud environment, and scans it for potential signs of malicious software – rejecting apps which contain potential threats.

Kopelke says the ability to remote wipe any sensitive information is cruicial to a successful BYOT policy.

Mobile applications

Craig Richardson, managing director at Jade Software, says it is only recently that companies have looked beyond just the device when thinking of mobility in enterprise.

Last year the company launched Joob, an enterprise mobile software company that is part of the Jade Software brand.

Joob develops what Richardson calls a mobile enterprise integration platform (MEIP). Developers create applications which are wrapped inside of the Joob mobile framework.

Richardson says Joob then securely connects the application to a company’s enterprise system, essentially allowing the aggregation of enterprise data on a mobile device.

Richardson says Joob is designed to fill a gap in the enterprise mobility market for applications which connect with already deployed (and often very expensive) enterprise systems.

To Richardson, the idea of using traditional MDMs on personal devices is not appealing in the least.

“How do you control the device when everything about it is so open? How are you meant to do that on someone’s phone when they have photos of their kids, or personal information on their phone too,” says Richardson.

“Locking down a smartphone just isn’t feasible anymore.”

Richardson says security is controlled through encrypted connections from the application to Joob’s datacentres.

“The future will be sandboxed apps which maintain their own security,” says Richardson

Joob also provides solutions for companies who have stricter security requirements on data.

“For instance our banking clients in Australia are really big on the sovereignty of data, so we have set up systems which don’t use overseas datacentres,” says Richardson.

Joob currently works in partnership with external development shops to create dashboard apps for financial institutes and energy monitoring apps for utility companies.

Richardson admits Joob only has a handful of clients in New Zealand, saying the services are most useful in markets where smartphone penetrations are particularly high, for instance in Australia where he says there is a 50 per cent penetration of smartphones in business.

The internet of things

One company in New Zealand using Joob’s software is Arc Innovations, which is a business unit of Meridian Energy.

Arc has deployed over 130,000 smart meters across Australasia and uses Joob’s mobile enterprise platform to dashboard that information for end users and also the energy providers.

Arc’s smart meters are part of a growing trend of connected devices being deployed by businesses to monitor remote data.

Machina Research estimates by 2020, the number of connected devices in the world will reach 12 billion – up from one billion in 2010. The machine to machine (M2M) market is predicted by Telstra to be worth A$1 billion dollars annualy in Australia alone.

Telecom, Vodafone, and 2degrees are all putting their feet forward in the M2M arena; Vodafone and 2degrees are continuing to upgrade their 2G networks to keep up with future demand.

Gen-i says it expects the number of M2M connections to double in the next three to five years, but the company is working on M2M through Telecom’s WCDMA network, which does not have 2G capablities.

“That’s a bit of a misnomer in terms of resource,” McDonald says.

“While the actual packet throughput is quite low in terms of the size of the packets, the fact that they signal quite often overloads the networks.

“So you can have very small amounts of data but there is associated signalling — that’s the bit that can trouble the mobile network and it’s a much bigger risk than the data itself.”

TIPS FOR A GOOD BYOT POLICY:

• Engage the entire business, include HR and Legal

• Make any subsidies and costs clear from the outset

• Ensure every phone has a pass lock

• Have a method to track the location of a device in case of theft

• Ensure there is a remote wipe capability

• Make sure your staff are educated on mobile security

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