Jay Kelley, Senior Product Marketing Manager at F5 Networks
Today’s enterprise is mobile. It is also fast becoming cloud-centric. Connecting to applications and other tools has never been easier. BYOD (Bring your own device) – the concept of employees using personal mobile phones or devices for business purposes has become a part of the business landscape in Asia Pacific. BYOD should be a strategic imperative for businesses, as it has the power to change the way people work, reaping benefits like greater productivity and efficiency.
Recent surveys reveal that 85 percent of enterprises have incorporated BYOD in their companies while 42 percent claimed they have a BYOD programme that has been well established within their organization (Source). The focus now is no longer on BYOD adoption – BYOD management has to come into play, especially when it comes to mitigating risk.
Weak authentication and compromised credentials have caused major data breaches all around the world, and even top enterprises have not been spared. In Asia alone, 76 percent of compromised records from data breaches were caused by poor authentication security and surprisingly, only 25 percent of organizations in the region are using strong authentication mechanisms, such as two- and multi-factor authentication (Source). Data breaches cost not only significant downtime and loss of revenue, they can result in damage to companies’ reputation, sometimes permanently.
Mobility and the cloud are great, but what about security?
BYOD and the cloud highlight the challenges of managing elasticity while an organisation’s critical apps stay in a hybrid environment. It is simply not feasible for IT to secure every mobile device or users’ access to cloud or SaaS applications.
While employees enjoy the convenience brought about by BYOD and cloud-based apps, backend engineering continues to struggle with establishing security in the app perimeter, especially in integrating and deploying dynamic and adaptive access control while ensuring users’ credential data is fully protected.
Identity federation has come out as one of the strategic plans to drive enterprise productivity, especially for mobility and the cloud. It improves user experience while reducing risk, and lowers operating costs by eliminating the need to execute costly manual processes whenever someone – including contractors – parts ways with the company or changes roles or responsibilities.
Businesses’ strength lies in their competitive edge and ability to remain innovative and adaptive in a highly mobile, cloud-first world. With F5 solutions, enterprises can confidently deploy mobile and cloud app strategies through a unified, highly scalable, and secure access gateway that delivers identity federation, single sign-on (SSO), and adaptive multi-factor authentication. No matter where an application sits, or from where or how it’s being accessed, companies can accelerate business expansion with zero-concern for secure access.