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Aruba Seeks To Ease BYOD Headache With ClearPass

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Aruba is offering a new mobile management solution that allows for the secure provision of mobile devices on an enterprise network

Wireless and mobility specialist Aruba Networks has launched a new mobile management platform to help companies deal with the influx of connected devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops etc) into the office.

The so called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) consumerisation trend shows no sign of slowing down, which is presenting something of a management headache for IT managers and network administrators fretting about the security implications of this move.

Aruba ClearPass

A recent survey revealed that over half of Brits now own a smartphone, while Gartner has predicted that in 2012, more than 100 million media tablets will ship worldwide. “Many enterprise workers want to use these tablets in the enterprise, regardless of whether the enterprise supports a bring-your-own device policy.”

Into this flood of new devices steps Aruba, which claims that its ClearPass portfolio is the industry’s first BYOD solution to allow the secure provision and onboarding of devices from multiple manufacturers (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux) on any network and from a single management platform.

Essentially Aruba ClearPass is a access management system designed to simplify and automate the secure provisioning of mobile devices on any enterprise network, to help reduce costs and minimise the admin burden on valuable IT staff.

According to Aruba, previous solutions required the costly replacement of existing infrastructure, and previous Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions tended to focus on the device management itself and did not address the need to provision and control network access for the device. This in turn forced companies to opt for an additional system for network access controls.

Aruba believes its ClearPass portfolio integrates all these network access controls with automated device provisioning, and as would be expected given the company’s expertise in the area, it can be deployed on any existing network – wired, wireless or VPN – as a non-disruptive overlay.

Admin Burden

The company thinks Aruba ClearPass can also give additional peace of mind because it can automate the burden of policy management and device health checks. This, Aruba believes, allows IT personnel to onboard and control mobile devices at lower cost and with less complexity while improving overall network security.

“Aruba ClearPass is the only solution that integrates all the necessary components for an efficient BYOD workflow, offering a single management platform for all devices, plus the option to license these additional capabilities on the same platform,” said the company.

“The introduction of the Aruba ClearPass access management system addresses a number of very acute pain points in the industry today, all stemming from the deluge of personal mobile devices being brought into previously tightly-controlled workplaces,” said Keerti Melkote, chief strategy officer for Aruba.

“Unlike other solutions available today, it does so for both mobile devices and PC operating systems across wired and wireless networks, regardless of the variety of vendors involved,”  Melkote added.

Clearpass allows companies to automate device provisioning, allowing IT personnel to automatically set VPN, email and network security settings, push enterprise applications and optionally revoke device access privileges.

BYOD Certification

Security-wise it also allows for device profiling to determine security requirements and enforce policies based on device type and ownership. Clearpass also undertakes device risk management, so that it assesses the risk that mobile devices pose to the network, and restricts access based on risk level, and remediate compromised devices.

Other capabilities include self-service mobile device network configuration, which enable Cloud-based self-configuration of a device’s 802.1X network security settings. Guest access capabilities are also provided.

Additionally, Aruba is now offering what it says is the industry’s first technical certification to address networking challenges for BYOD.

Aimed at network engineers, the Aruba Certified Solutions Professional (ACSP) certification is designed specifically to address the new networking requirements and challenges that have emerged as a result of the BYOD phenomenon.

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