Intel IT Puts Android to the BYOD Test

Managing the Changing IT Landscape: Operating Systems               

Intel’s BYOD program has always tried to stay ahead of the curve by meeting employee demand for personal devices at work. It was implemented early—in 2010—and it’s been proactively evolving ever since in terms of policies, devices, and operating systems. Today, with more and more devices comes the challenge of maintaining security while protecting employee privacy.

Intel IT recently turned its attention to Android* devices, and it’s no wonder. According to the Inside IT podcast, Intel employees are using more than 20,000 Android-based devices—with over 800 combinations of Android OS versions and hardware. In addition to popular devices such as smart phones and tablets, employees have registered televisions, watches, and glasses for network access—all signaling early use of wearables at work. 

Managing complexity with math

The same thing that makes the Android platform a creative, innovative platform is what also makes it vulnerable. The open platform means it’s more open to threats. And with so many possible combos of software and mobile device types, BYOD security is all the more difficult. In fact, recent research from the Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center found that mobile malware threats are growing at a rate of 614 percent.

Intel IT security trust calculation.JPG

As part of its ongoing effort to honor choice and flexibility as part of its BYOD program, Intel IT focused on streamlining security. First, in 2010, Intel IT developed a “trust score” to determine access, which is based on the types of services the user needs and the device type.

“What we don’t want to do is have different policies, depending on where you are", says Rob Evered of Intel’s Information Risk and Security Group. So, Intel IT created an algorithm that considers the many combos of device, control, and required access.

In a matter of a few simple questions, the proper security profile can be established from any location based on the device and data —critical for a global company. As a result, the time it takes to evaluate and approve a device for an employee has been reduced dramatically.

Key learnings

Because early Android devices caused so much concern for Intel IT, services were initially limited and restricted. However, recent advancements in technology and enhancements in security have allowed Intel IT to expand data access and IT services to Intel architecture-based devices running the Android OS. Intel IT’s trust model has continued to evolve and has now become a cornerstone for Intel’s ability to support and expand Android devices in the enterprise.

Be sure to listen to the Android BYOD podcast or read the white paper to discover the six key security features in Android 4.0 that give Intel IT the confidence to allow these devices access to intermediate enterprise data (Trust Level 3).

Intel IT device trust levels.JPG

Do you support the Android platform in your enterprise environment? If so, has your IT support strategy changed with Android 4.0?

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