With benefits such as enhanced employee efficiency, greater overall business productivity and improved customer service and satisfaction, one would expect organisations to rush towards mobilising their workforce. However, in a recent IDC survey, the biggest inhibitor to enterprise mobility was the fear of unauthorised access.
A few days ago I was a speaker at a healthcare conference (I do that alot!) and afterword, as so often happens, I spent more time talking to participants in the lobby than I had spent in actual presentation. Some less than kind observers might say that indicates that less information is presented than is optimal, but I prefer to think that I had stimulated so much thought that there wan't time in the allotted Q&A to answer all of them.
At any rate, more and more I am being asked about wireless devices, not just wireless laptops and PDA's, but convergent devices as well. The article cited above, from CIO Asia, has the simplest, most direct answer to maybe half of the questions:
Try the following experiment: sit with your wireless laptop in the parking lot of any multi-practice complex. If there are 50 practices, you will find 12-15 unsecured wireless networks available. This is unacceptable, and it is just getting worse.
Treat mobile devices as part of your existing network
Mobile devices accessing corporate information via the Internet must be treated as an extension of your existing network and not as a separate network. Integrate the two authentication mechanisms to provide second level authentication, and centrally administer and manage devices from within the network to ensure that devices are regularly backed up and the latest security updates are applied.