First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

Ruckus Wireless Aims to Make BYOD Onboarding Easier, Safer

Cloudpath ES 5.0 offers improved security and policy management for organizations seeing the number of mobile devices used by employees increase.

BYOD security

Ruckus Wireless wants to make it easier for organizations to manage the influx of devices that are accessing their corporate networks as the number of mobile workers continues to grow.

Ruckus, a business unit of Brocade, this week introduced Cloudpath ES 5.0 software, which offers a range of features that deliver an integrated security and policy management platform to businesses looking for better ways to handle the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends in their environments.

As the workforce has become more mobile and workers use more mobile devices for their jobs, businesses have been forced to find ways to balance network accessibility with security. Being more mobile can help many workers be more productive, but it also increases the complexity that IT departments have to manage when so many devices are being connected to the corporate network.

"Managing devices [as well as] workflow and security policies has become more complex over the last decade for businesses of all sizes," Kevin Koster, chief architect and Cloudpath founder at Ruckus, said in a statement. "At the same time, many companies operate in various locations with multiple wireless networks. This creates complex IT management challenges."

It doesn't promise to get much easier. Analysts with IDC are predicting the mobile worker population in the United States will grow from 96.2 million people last year to 105.4 million in 2020.

Key features in Cloudpath ES 5.0 include a simplified Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), industry-standard x.509 digital certificates and granular policy assignment to stronger security and centralized policy management, and an improved user experience that includes a device onboarding process that can take as few as 10 seconds. In addition, users don't need to remember passwords and no log-in is necessary when they move from one network to another.

The software also works with existing wired and wireless networks as well as network security firewalls, client operating systems and other avenues for ensuring compliance with security policies, helping to reduce the complexity for businesses. Ruckus also offers tight integration with Brocade's ICX switches and a user-based licensing plan that helps businesses better plan their networks and keep costs down even as the number of devices per employee grows.

Brocade bought Ruckus earlier this year for $1.2 billion, a move to bring in wireless networking capabilities to complement its wired products.