reactions to palo alto live-broadcast on byod

I have a post about BYOD incubating (for weeks), but did want to post my thoughts on this.

Just checked out a Palo Alto Networks sit-down talk today with Nir Zuk (Palo Alto), Rich Mogull (Securosis), and Mark Bouchard (thank you for not making this over my lunch hour!) doing a live-video discussion titled, “Coming to Grips with Consumerization.” Of course, I took some notes.

– users want to tailor their damn devices; the perception of mobile devices supports this where users may expect customization with mobile devices where traditional computers have less of this perception. I agree with this for the most part, especially if people are expecting to carry this *and* their own personal devices at the same time. People will want less devices, thus just one that covers both work and personal.

– this mobile issue isn’t new. I don’t have much to say about this, but once you really sit down, the fundamental issues here really aren’t new. Protect data. Manage devices. That was true 10 years ago and is still true today. It’s just more difficult today because of how BYOD/consumerization has evolved. This is a good thing to bring up early, since many (even me) get hung up on this being a brand new issue.

is the problem truly just lack of device management? This was a great discussion, and I think this is a huge, huge problem. If not the biggest one: we can’t manage these damn devices people want to use for business purposes. Keeping in mind installed apps, blacklisted apps, bad uses/configurations, inappropriate use, etc, as part of this topic.

data assurance is a new key (somewhat). Again, no difference to traditional computers, only now we have less tools to assure this on these new mobile devices. Remote wiping is just not assurance enough.

“make sure bad things don’t get into the device,” quote from Nir. Kinda sounds like the same problem with any computer for a long time, yeah? Sadly, corporation protections have *less* tools to do this, even as Android/Apple give users better tools to manage their apps and stuff (with arguable oversight). Traditionally, we have device lockdowns, least privs, and endpoint protections. With these new devices, we don’t have these tools really at all, or when we do, they’re usurped.

some talk about network-based protection/inspection. While I love this idea because it sits squarely in the technical side of things, especially on the network/sec teams, I think it is dangerous to rely on inspection visibility for security in the future. There will continue to be pressure to encrypt and hide traffic in motion. And it’s a whole new discussion about how we want privacy but also want visibility; we can quickly talk out both sides of our mouth.