Cisco looks beyond BYOD trend with unified IT approach

Cisco tackles what steps and platforms are needed next after everyone brings their personal devices to work.

There's plenty of chatter bringing personal devices to work these days, but Cisco is aiming to outline the next steps towards handling security and other IT challenges that will inevitably follow.

A big part of this involves upgrades for Cisco's Identity Services Engine, which is designed for self-provisioning of a user’s device as well as policy integrations with mobile device management solutions across VPN along with wired, wireless, and cellular networks. These mobile management platforms are touted to offer more visibility and control over endpoint access, remotely wipe lost or stolen devices, and even prohibit access to jailbroken devices.

The idea behind the Identity Services Engine is to offer IT departments a more unified approach to handling more mobile devices connecting to the networks per users.

A few years ago, most networks were designed to handle just one device per user. But with smartphones, laptops, tablets, embedded devices and more, enterprise networks are being forced to handle several devices per user, causing a lot of maintenance and security concerns.

One such update can be seen on Cisco's wireless LAN infrastructure with the release of Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software 7.2, which will enable one controller to be able to support up to 3,000 access points and 30,000 clients at a scalable rate.

Geared towards the enterprise crowd, examples of situations where the Identity Services Engine and Borderless Network platforms are touted to ideally work would be sectors such as healthcare and education, two settings where countless new users are signing on to extensive networks all the time.

However, users who do not install the related solutions for the Identity Services Engine and Cisco's other Beyond BYOD solutions aren't necessarily turned away from the network altogether. IT managers hold the right to customize their networks and permission settings as they see fit.

Much of what Cisco is rolling out for this initiative is now available globally, including the Unified Wireless Network Software Release 7.2. Cisco's Identity Services Engine 1.1MR and the integration with mobile device management are expected to follow later this year.

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