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Securing Your Network with BYOD, Multiple Devices and Preparing for the Future Workforce

Today I will be live blogging at the Cisco Government Solutions Forum.

The session I just attended, Establishing Trust Within the Enterprise and Beyond, is part of the Managing Risks in a Dynamic Network Environment track. This track explores security and identifies that managing risks is always part of the conversation on technology. One of the key themes of this session was the idea that the federal government needs to prepare for the next generation of government workers and develop the proper infrastructure to create a secure network for government. With increasing use of BYOD, telework, and multiple devices, security is a key because of device proliferation and changing demands from the workforce.

The presentation also covered Cisco TrustSec, focusing on three categories, comprehensive visibility, exceptional control, and effective management. The theme was that organizations need a central approach to everything that is happening across your network, so you can monitor what devices are on your network and control what kind of access they receive. The second half of the presentation was an “Under the Hood” look at Cisco TrustSec.

The panelist for this section included:

  • Jamie Sanbower, Security Architect, Cisco
  • Kevin Manwiller, Manager, Federal Security Solutions, Cisco

Here are my key take-aways from the presentation:

  • Device proliferation – Apple/PC/Tablet/iPhone/Andriod/etc – future workforce is use to working on their own device/platform. This presents enormous pressures on IT to develop the right security and enforce policy across the network.
  • Choice of devices available to consumers – important to remember when preparing for the next generation of the federal employee.
  • Security challenge relates to the problem of what device is on network, and where that device is requesting access
  • There is an enormous challenge to meet the changing demands of workforce – demands of telework, attractive to be a teleworker, impact on security
  • IT needs to be agile – do not want to be viewed as being competitive
  • With so many devices, managing so many different devices and providing security and IT support for employees can potentially case costs to rise. Cisco was able to develop a self-support model to decrease calls to help desks for employees using different devices.
  • Networks are being attacked, need to decrease response time and mitigate effects
  • Comprehensive visibility is very difficult to do without adding more IT staff
  • Trust is thinking above and beyond identity – no guest, but need to be able to give access to a “trusted visitor.”
  • Posture assessment – as a device comes onto the network, the device can be scanned to know if it confirms with compliance.
  • Device profiling will help agencies to make better decisions
  • Cisco has products and tools to help provide a secure network across multiple devices, different access points, and ability for people to connect securely through TrustSec – which is a very holistic approach to network security.

The presentation gave an interesting overview of some of the challenges facing the federal government and keeping a secure network. With so many new and emerging devices that the government is using, it is important that IT departments take the right steps to secure the network, provide agile support, and adapt to a quickly changing work force.

The Government Solutions Forum is set up to be educational and interactive for participants. At GSF, Cisco and industry leaders will identify best practices how public sector agencies are effectively leveraging technology to improve operational efficiency, enable workforce productivity, and deliver measurable results. As we know, these three elements are something that public sector professionals are challenged with daily, and technology can be used to help combat the related operational and institutional hurdles that public agencies face. The Government Solutions Forum has four tracks, and I will be attending one session from each track. The four tracks are:

  • Mobile Collaboration
  • Unified Data Center & The Cloud
  • Cutting Cost of Government
  • Managing Risk in a Dynamic Network Environment

Throughout the event, you can follow on Twitter and get program updates by searching #ciscogsf. Slides and presentations will be available as well; they can be downloaded at www.cisco.com/go/gsf.

For more than 25 years, governments around the world have partnered with Cisco to address challenges and achieve strategic objectives. By working closely with government leaders like you, we glean insights that cultivate thought leadership and help us design, execute, and test solutions based on best practices and our partner ecosystem. These ongoing relationships have forged thousands of proven implementations across a variety of public sector organizations, providing continuous innovation in how communities are managed and renewed.. Check out the Technology Sub-Community of which they are a council member.

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