2016: The Year of the Digital Workforce

Pew Research reports 79% of smartphone users byod-data-securityhave their phone with them for 22 hours a day, so it was only natural that this obsession with our personal devices would carry over into our work lives.  61% of workers report working outside the office at least part of the time and using 3+ personal devices for work activities. The way we work is changing drastically and moving more and more into a truly digital platform.  Employees demand enterprise mobility and want to use personal devices, hence accelerating the bring your own device (BYOD) trend.

The number of devices managed in the enterprise increased 72% from 2014 to 2015.  And although 90% of organizations deploy passcode enforcement, that is not enough to secure corporate data and networks from a mountain of different types digital devices belonging to a host of different employees.

Enterprises that have a BYOD policy in place have a head start and realize additional security is needed.  The reliance on usernames and passwords for identity authentication is a problem that can lead to data breaches. To help enterprises address the network security challenges initiated by BYOD, there are a variety of technologies already available on the market today, and several more being developed.  Two notable examples of what’s available today are Mobile Device Management (MDM) and One-Time Password (OTP) apps.

But what about enterprises that already use a corporate smart card badge or smart token?  Mobile devices create unique security challenges because of a lack of embedded card readers or USB ports, making smart card and token usage impossible.

A wireless solution is one way to tackle this issue.  Bluetooth is a connectivity channel implemented across different endpoints, making it compatible with any mobile device.

For example, Gemalto MobilePKI solutions provide either a Bluetooth-enabled badge holder or USB token. The user simply pairs the Bluetooth device with their mobile device. Once the devices are paired, the smart card will be recognized and processed, just as when the smart card is inserted into an internal reader on a laptop.

Here’s a video to further explain how this works:

By providing a Bluetooth solution, enterprise IT can expand the protection of PKI, while allowing employees the freedom of anywhere, anytime convenience of mobile.   While the BYOD trend will continue to be fueled by user demand, it presents both opportunities and challenges.

At the same time the technology is dynamic and from a security perspective immature. Faced with this landscape, enterprises need to tightly examine their specific situations and use cases.  To learn more, visit Gemalto’s Secure Employee Mobility website.

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