BYOD: How MSPs Can Make It All Come Together

how MSPs build an effective network with BYOD
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Bring your own device (BYOD) is quickly becoming a staple for businesses. BYOD is a system that lets users bring smartphones and tablets and connect these devices to the business network. The concept is great for users, but it can be difficult to manage for managed service providers that need to support several devices. MSPs need to support at least the big three operating systems: iOS, Android and Blackberry. However, all three of these operating systems are very different.

Use Standard Wi-Fi

Don’t bother fighting standards. The easiest way to allow connections is through a standard Wi-Fi router. Most business and personal routers offer Wi-Fi, and any device can connect through the device. You can add security by monitoring connections and requiring a password. You can also do MAC filtering at the router level, but this makes it more difficult when you have open Wi-Fi for all employees.

Create Standards for Apps

There are millions of apps for download. The Apple App Store just announced one million apps are now available for download. These apps include anything from contact and organization apps to games. You can’t control the types of apps people download on their personal devices, but you can create rules for app downloads on corporate devices.

Sandboxed Syncing

When users connect to the network with BYOD access, they typically want to store data and sync it with server data. This includes contacts and data. This data should be sandboxed from other areas of the network. This protects the corporate network from random users having access to sensitive data, and it protects the network from mobile device viruses.

Audit Connections

It’s important to know who is connecting to the internal network. With web traffic, you know that anyone trying to connect is probably trying to gain unauthorized access. With BYOD, you need to allow users to access. With auditing, you can monitor who is accessing data, and you can shut off users if you feel there is an issue with unauthorized access. If you’ve segmented your mobile access area from the internal network, you can more easily cut off access if you think there is a security breach.

Use Web Service for Apps

Web services let you create calls to internal corporate databases with any device. The operating system doesn’t matter with web services. Web services also filter the type of application that can access internal data. This means that you can support apps for any operating system to support company mobile apps.

As an MSP, you can offer BYOD to your users, but you must make sure you keep it secure while still giving free access for necessary users. Keep data secure, and you can have a successful BYOD policy that protects the company and makes it convenient for users.

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Photo Credit: liewcf via Compfight cc

Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer has been a software developer for over 10 years and writes technology articles based on her experience in both personal and enterprise applications. She is published at Smashwords, Rackspace, and on other technology sites.

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