Not long ago, at least within the past 10 years, employees used to have to have a helpdesk request to download new applications to their desktop or at least have permissions granted before updating company software. Security concerns were a primary factor against giving employees too much anonymity with a company-issued device.
According to Forrester, more than half of North American and European companies are developing BYOD (bring your own device) programs in response to workforce demand. While enabling employees to use their own mobile devices and computers for work presents challenges in terms of security, risk, infrastructure and operations, the potential upside is impressive. A successful program can increase overall revenue by boosting IT and help desk productivity, improving line-of-business process efficiencies, reducing expenses for corporate-liable devices and data services, facilitating employee collaboration and enhancing customer support. BYOD programs that successfully address security concerns can unlock competitive advantages and build a solid base for future business tech innovation.
On Monday, October 5, 2015, AT&T and IBM announced their partnership to deliver a scalable mobile cloud solution to help protect corporate data and apps. IBM and AT&T’s new approach enables a workforce to be productive without compromising security and the mobile user experience.
“More employees are using mobile devices to be more productive. At the same time, data and apps are moving to the cloud. The changes are exciting, but security needs to be top-of-mind,” said Steve McGaw, Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T Business Solutions. “Trusted collaborators like IBM are helping us better address changing business models. Together we’re giving options to deliver highly secure mobile access to cloud apps and data.”
The increasing use and value of mobile data has created a challenge for CIOs looking to connect customers, partners and employees across devices. The complexity of securing corporate data in this environment is even tougher. Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting mobile apps, Internet connections and corporate networks. AT&T’s Cybersecurity Insights Report states that experts have seen a 62% increase in DDoS attacks over the past two years.
IBM research has found that nearly half of all companies allocate no budget to securing the apps they develop. As threats evolve and grow, the way businesses deliver a secure user experience and mobile access to apps must evolve as well.
The AT&T and IBM mobile cloud security solution will help customers secure the device, connectivity and data. It gives companies simple tools they can use to properly enable their growing mobile workforce. The reference architecture includes:
- IBM MobileFirst Protect: Helps organizations manage and control mobile devices, apps and documents.
- AT&T NetBond: Provides a highly secure, scalable network connection to IBM's Cloud infrastructure services, SoftLayer.
- IBM Cloud: The SoftLayer infrastructure secures public and private clouds for applications and data storage.
- AT&T Work Platform: Enables separate billing of business and personal charges for voice, messaging and data use on an employee’s personal handset.
“Balancing employees’ need for convenience with security has become a challenge for CISOs and CIOs across the world,” said Caleb Barlow, Vice President, IBM Security. “To help protect organizations, employees and data, IBM Security and AT&T are delivering a tested and easy-to-deploy set of complementary tools. We’re giving enterprise mobile device users stable, private access to data and apps in the cloud.”
Together, we’re providing mobile users with simple, consistent and controlled cloud access. As a result, employees become more productive and corporations reduce complexity and stay focused on business.
AT&T Inc. helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high-speed Internet and voice services. It is the world’s largest provider of pay TV. It has TV customers in the US and 11 Latin American countries. In the US, its wireless network offers the nation’s strongest LTE signal and the most reliable 4G LTE network.
About IBM Security:
IBM’s security platform provides the security intelligence to help organizations holistically protect their people, data, applications and infrastructure. IBM offers solutions for identity and access management, security information and event management, database security, application development, risk management, endpoint management, next-generation intrusion protection and more. IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research & development and delivery organizations.