|Posted on Oct 23, 2012 03:15:42 PM | Adrian Gardner | 1 Comments ||
BYOD, or “bring your own device,” is an increasing request by Goddard employees and contractors. Simply, BYOD enables staff to use their own computers, smartphones, tablets and other technologies at work. There are many benefits – allowing users to choose devices they are comfortable with improves job satisfaction. BYOD makes telecommuting more feasible and reduces duplicative devices. Goddard benefits from BYOD too – we save money on hardware, software and device maintenance. And, staff tends to upgrade to the latest hardware and software quicker than Goddard does.
But there are a number of challenges with BYOD. Smartphones and tablets are susceptible to worms, viruses, Trojans and spyware just like desktops. Eavesdropping is an issue since carrier-based wireless networks lack end-to-end security. Theft of devices can result in a loss of sensitive NASA data. Finally, users may be concerned that Goddard has access to sensitive personal data.
Virtualization helps us to overcome these challenges. Virtual desktops and applications are delivered to end users on any device. Little, if any, data is actually stored on the device; instead, data is requested and displayed as needed, reducing the risk of data loss. We conducted a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) pilot this summer and will initiate a proof-of-concept study by allowing Goddard employees and visiting scientists to connect to NASA data using VDI and their own devices.
We are developing policies for allowing personal devices to connect to our network. These policies will cover who gets a mobile device, who pays for it, what constitutes acceptable use, user responsibilities, and the range of devices ITCD will support. Our Mobile Device Management (MDM) system will monitor, manage and support these personal devices. It will provide central remote management of devices including the distribution of applications, data and configuration settings, and remote wipes. And, it will position us to better meet the needs of our customers.
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