Security remains a top concern for IT departments grappling with the rise of bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives, but a flood of consumer devices in the workplace threatens user privacy and corporate networks, leading data-loss-prevention specialist Sophos to release EndUser Protection.
The platform provides consolidated protection for every device on a network by securing per user rather than per device, meaning the organization receives protection for all a user's devices, ranging from Windows and Mac computers to mobile devices like Apple iPhones and iPads, and Google Android devices, wherever they go.
"Smartphones and tablets are an everyday part of today's workplace, so businesses are adapting their policies and practices to ensure these devices don't disrupt productivity or compromise security; security enables users to do their work," Charles Kolodgy, research vice president of security products at IDC, said in a statement. "Sophos' model of combining their endpoint and mobile-device-management offerings to secure users rather than devices can eliminate many of the costs and complexities normally associated with securing BYOD."
According to a Cisco IBSG Horizons Study released in May 2012, the average number of connected devices per knowledge worker was 2.8, and that number is projected to rise to 3.3 by 2014. A staggering 95 percent of respondents said their organizations permit employee-owned devices in some way in the workplace.
EndUser Protection, the combination of Sophos' endpoint-protection and mobile-device-management (MDM) offerings, is designed to simplify and improve the security and management of every device employees are using to access corporate data. The platform allows IT to enforce secure passcodes, control app installation, and prevent data loss with remote lock and wipe. Sophos also provides over-the-air updates and an end-user self-service portal.
Other features include support for virtual machines with no extra licensing costs, integrated Web security into the antivirus agent to block Web-based threats and keep users safe from malicious sites, built-in URL filtering and network storage protection for NetApp, EMC and Sun filers.
"Every day, I use three or four different devices for business purposes, and the consumerization trend points to more people using even more devices," Sophos Chief Marketing Officer Matt Fairbanks said in a statement. "Our value proposition to customers and partners is complete security without complexity. And as BYOD moves more to the forefront of complete security, Sophos EndUser Protection allows more IT professionals to embrace BYOD rather than try to reverse it."