When you’re planning the ideal mobile network, do you focus on strategy or tactics? Trick question—you can’t separate the two. Strategy is the plan of action to achieve a goal. Tactics is the application of available resources to achieve your strategy. What resources you have can determine what your objective is, just as that objective can determine what resources you need.
A 2014 IDG survey found increasing and enabling mobility was a top-five priority for enterprise networking leaders. The top challenges when it came to doing that were security and management. And which of these is more important? Yep, you guessed it: both.
In order to create a secure, dynamic situation for the use of mobile you first have to know what your organization needs. Most companies fall into one these categories:
- Control: These are organizations that want the flexibility and enhanced collaboration of BYOD and need to be sure information can only be accessed by employees and approved partners.
- Tight control: Places like government offices, trading floor operations, and healthcare organizations need strict limits on the use of information. There is no BYOD management policy because only devices issued by the business have access to the networks.
- Free flow: Organizations like universities and libraries want to give nearly all users easy access to basic network services. These networks are designed to provide more access to information and security efforts are mostly focused on protecting user ID data.
- Hybrid: As you might guess, this is for organizations that need some of each of the above. Hospitals are a perfect example of this. They need doctors and nurses to be able to access confidential patient records with tablets and at the same time let visitors access the Internet.
In order to handle the management and security of the evolving mobile ecosystems these organizations are increasingly turning to Identity and Access Management (IAM) programs. These programs let companies get ahead of threats by using visibility and control—visibility into the users and devices accessing networks and control to ensure the right people using approved devices can get access to the enterprise services they are supposed to. When done right, IAM reduces identity management costs and makes companies more agile in supporting new business initiatives.
Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) is the market-leading security policy management platform. ISE unifies and automates access control to proactively enforce role-based access to enterprise networks and resources, regardless of how a user chooses to connect—by wired or wireless networks or VPN.
ISE’s out-of-the-box configured workflows accelerate the deployment of guest access and 802.1X RADIUS authentication. It also makes it possible for companies to expand their deployments by using ISE to create access policies with Cisco TrustSec Security Group Tags. These define access based on simple “plain English” rules and use built-in technology within the Cisco infrastructure to enforce policy across the network.
Learn more about the Cisco Identity Services Engine, and then give us a call.