Westcon Wholesales BYOD Security
Last week at the UC Summit, Michael Finneran outlined the emerging opportunity for mobile device management (MDM) resulting from explosive growth of BYOD. As Michael pointed out, MDM was really pioneered by Blackberry, but many firms now mimic the capabilities aimed at mixed device deployments.
The MDM opportunity is huge – both because so few organizations have it now and because BYOD continues to grow. BYOD changes everything because now employee-owned devices are extending the boundaries of corporate networks to just about everywhere. These same devices get stolen and infected with various forms of malware and spyware.
Today, Westcon unveiled a new solution named BYODShield – a wholesale MDM offering. Westcon’s service is powered primarily by two vendors that Westcon integrated into a single service: BlueCat Networks and Fiberlink. BYODShield is a subscription-based package designed for the channel.
“Westcon is delivering an industry-first – combining our unsurpassed technology expertise and deep vendor portfolio to tackle the challenges of integrating personal devices into the corporate network. Few distributors can claim to unify their vendors and create a platform that permits separate technologies to collaborate – driving enhanced security and quickly resolving mobile device management issues,” said Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy, Senior Vice President North America, Westcon Group.
A virtual instance for each customer is implemented as a service by Westcon. No on-site equipment is required on the customer site. At least in terms of BYODShield. An effective BYOD solution typically involves various forms of network infrastructure including wireless access points, switches, and routers as well as Internet bandwidth. Westcon offers these items, but BYODShield is independent of the customer’s infrastructure.
Westcon has effectively made a comprehensive MDM solution a SKU for its resellers. Enterprise customers will pay for the service (to the reseller) per device per month. The expected MSRP is about $10/mo. Enterprise users would authenticate their devices on BYODShield to obtain access to corporate resources.
The BlueCat technology provides policy management controls. FiberLink technology gets pushed to the device for more effective management and control including remote wipe and scans for malware. The FiberLink application leverages the Apple Mobile Device Management API and Apple Push Notification Service – it gets pushed to the mobile device automatically. There’s no need to direct users to the various platform app stores to obtain it.
MDM is an area that many organizations don’t know they need yet, but the security liabilities that BYOD introduced are significant. Westcon cites a recent Cisco study that 39 percent of BYOD owners don’t even have a simple password on their smartphone.
BYOD appears to be permanent. That’s why organizations need to get these mobile devices under control. Westcon’s approach is fairly innovative, and effectively eliminates the upfront initial capital purchase. It also makes MDM practical for any size organization.
The service should align well with many of Westcon’s reseller customers. Westcon hints that BYODShield will grow with additional offers. The distributor’s portfolio currently includes solutions from Cisco, Avaya, Brocade, Polycom, Check Point, and Blue Coat.