One of the most exciting developments for both employees and management is the capability to bring your own device (BYOD.) The maturing business systems of today allow more flexibility for device integration. Open development methods, free software licenses and less regulation in software distribution allows different systems to easily interact without tedious integration.
The benefits of BYOD for business are essentially two-fold:
- Less capital expenditure is required as the employee is usually financially responsible for their own device. A “nice” company will reimburse associates for the costs of a device as well contribute to employees’ service plan. Generally, this requires less monetary investment for an organization than provisioning an armada of devices. Further, establishing a contract with a mobile provider is costly, even when one takes corporate bulk discounts into account.
- Employees who are able to use their own device are generally happier, as most smartphone owners have developed a sense of familiarity with the interface and general design of their chosen model. They are also likely to be more productive using a design and operating system that they already know and like than when they are forced to deal with an unfamiliar system.
Of course, freedom always raises some concern. Without the heavy security provisions traditionally implemented by IT for company provided phones, it is more likely that an event could occur where data could be compromised. For companies that decide to allow BYOD, certain preventative measures should be taken to ensure that important business data is not lost or stolen.
Avaya has recently released a device that helps enterprises more effectively manage BYOD initiatives called the Avaya Session Border Controller for Enterprise (SBCE.) Unified communication applications are becoming commonplace because of the enhanced collaborative abilities granted. Avaya Flare and One-X are both dynamic applications for communications which rely on SIP trunking to transfer information. The SBCE allows companies to more effectively manage BYOD in an organization. It also helps secure these connections so that communications are not intercepted.
Ideally, any company that is making use of a variety of VoIP applications should have a strategy for managing their SBC. When a connection is made from a remote location, a communication session may be exposed as it passes through a LEC network. This is often where an attacker will slip into a network and eavesdrop or wreak havoc by launching a DoS attack. Securing these connections by effectively managing border control or configuring a VPN for employees to access server resources will help prevent an attack from a disgruntled hacker or unethical competitor.