network-technologiesCIOs today need answers to coping with the seemingly never-ending barrage of new network technologies arriving on the scene. The Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon has resulted in a steady increase of new smart devices hopping on and off networks, bringing with it new security, performance and architectural considerations for IT executives. Coping with the demand for agility, without overburdening the enterprise with security and performance woes, requires proactively monitoring the network to understand the effects of today’s rapid growth.

BYOD challenges for IT

Loss or theft of personally owned devices that contain company information poses serious financial and security risks to businesses. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies can make it difficult for IT to manage the type of devices and software allowed on the network. Users may also be reluctant to have their personal devices subjected to acceptable usage policies, thus making it tough for IT to dictate standard usage norms. BYOD policies – and adherence to them – are crucial to mitigating the risk of having personally owned devices on the network. It can be tough, but with the support of corporate policy makes, adherence to a BYOD policy will create the type of awareness that fosters a culture of compliance that is conducive to a more secure network.

COPE as a consideration

If allowing personally owned devices on the network is considered too great a risk, a Corporately-Owned Personally-Enabled (COPE) policy might address the need for business agility without over-exposing the enterprise. With company issued devices, IT and corporate policy makers have much more control over the type of usage that occurs on devices and can implement much tighter security mechanisms. COPE strategies may cost businesses more money in the end, but allows for at least tighter levels of control over how mobile devices are used in the business. However, IT can’t pretend that users will strictly abide by usage policies, even in the case of COPE.

Network management software as a coping mechanism

While COPE and BYOD policies may mitigate IT’s concerns to a degree, as security strategies, neither will make CIOs sleep sound at night. Network monitoring software that gives IT detailed insight into who is accessing the network, from where and why, offers a much needed layer of security in today’s complex environments. Not only in terms of security, but also in terms of capacity planning, IT is able to better understand the increasing effect of mobility on the network, and better prepare to accommodate changing demands.

In many cases, entry points such as firewalls and routers produce volumes of activity log files, but leave administrators with insufficient tools for analysis. Monitoring software that employs technologies such as Netflow Analyzer, are able to give IT more granular understandings and controls of data traversing the enterprise. New network technologies are accompanied by opportunities for business to improve their competitive streak, but require equally adept management tools to help IT professionals manage in an ever-changing IT landscape.

Adopting new network technologies is crucial to business success

The adoption of new technology correlates to an organisation’s success to a large degree. The opportunities presented with new network technologies far outweigh the challenges, but a too gung-ho approach may come to sting you in the tail. Without some type of monitoring and management solution to support your BYOD or COPE policy, IT won’t truly understand the impact of mobility on the network, in terms of security, performance and architectural requirements.

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