Cisco has cautioned firms that adoption of consumerisation measures means that the need for strong identity management systems is greater than ever.
The company said that as firms adopt the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, the ability to manage and handle users through identity profiles and policies will play a key role in maintaining network security.
Dave Frampton, vice president and general manager of Cisco's secure access and mobility product group, told V3 that because of their personal nature of BYOD, a traditional approach of installing and managing the hardware itself is difficult.
Instead, he believes that administrators should enforce policy and profile controls which allow the user to log in from multiple devices and access the network based on pre-assigned privileges and policies.
"Instead of the old days of a username, password and virus check, in a BYOD world variables like which device you are accessing the network on, where from, the time of access, what employee group you belong to, all of these together need to be synthesised into an access policy that can be administered," Frampton explained.
In making that shift, identity and access management tools will increasingly become an important part in the network security platform. Additionally, Cisco believes that administrators will need to adjust their approach to dealing with end users.
"The mindset must change from contain and lock down to embrace and accelerate," said Frampton.
"I think we are past the tipping point and people recognise this is going to be part of the environment."
Mobile device management has become an increasingly crowded field in recent years as new vendors have sought to address the consumerisation space. While some vendors have sought to isolate and separate business use from consumer activity, others have attempted to seamlessly integrate business applications alongside personal use.
Frampton said that Cisco has opted to support both models, partnering with vendors who support both security approaches. The company believes that casting out its net as wide as possible will help build stronger ecosystems and bring partnerships which can address emerging challenges in the security space.
"We need a systematic approach," said Frampton. "We need an ecosystem approach and we need reduction of that operational complexity."
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