Network Access Control – More Difficult With BYOD

network access control

A company’s security arrangements cannot be considered complete when it only considers physical security. These days data protection is at least as important physical security; in some companies, data is even more valuable than physical resources. Thus many companies have contracted professional help to establish effective network access control.

What Is Network Access Control?

In simple terms network access control is the sum of all security technologies employed to secure sensitive or valuable data. This usually involves the installation of anti-malware and anti-virus software, firewalls and spyware detection programs. As part of network access control, also known as network admission control, users are required to provide identity authentication and network security is enforced through selective granting of access permissions.

This usually involves the use of a network access server which authenticates and authorizes access for potential users by verifying the information provided during logon. In addition, the system also has the power to restrict the areas within a company’s network that each user is given access to. In companies with the most sensitive or valuable information, access restrictions can even include particular days, times, and workstations. Network access control systems can also be set to limit the things particular users can do while in the network. The most commonly restricted activity is web-browsing. This is usually restricted for lower level employees to ensure that productivity is not adversely affected, as much as to limit the chance of malware getting into the system.

Some network access control systems vet potential users to ensure their workstations comply with pre-defined requirements regarding anti-malware and anti-virus software protection, system update level, and configuration. The company is free to set as many levels as necessary to ensure data security. For sensitive areas of the network, there would be stringent requirements. For areas of the network with less amounts of valuable or sensitive information, considerably less protection would be required for granting access. This site contains lots of information about network access control.

BYOD Complicates Network Access Control

BYOD stands for bring your own device. Some companies allow employees to bring their own devices to work. This complicates the task of ensuring only authorized users and devices are allowed access to the company’s network. By allowing employees to bring their personal devices and gadgets to work, there is a greater risk of the network being contaminated with viruses and other types of malware.

So how do network access control systems cope with this? Employees may be allowed to connect personal devices to the company network only on limited basis. For example, the system can be set to allow personal devices to be connected only to the internet; the company’s own network remains off limits, and out of harm’s way.

If there is no choice but to grant even limited access to the company’s network, the company can set a policy whereby agent software is deployed on personal gadgets and devices. The software monitors each gadget for compliance before granting either full, limited or ‘guest’ access.

It may be a bit complicated but, properly used, network access control systems can still adequately protect your data even if employees bring in their own devices.

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Multitouch Screen – A Convenient Mode Of Data Input

multitouch screen

The technology used on our computer and smart device screens have improved a lot in the past decade or so. In fact, the use of touch screens was not so popular back then. Most of the monitors then were passive; they were good only for displaying images and data. Data entry for most computers then were done through the use of keyboards, mouse and touch pads. And as for the quality of images on the screen, it has advanced from a barely recognizable to high definition capable of displaying more colors than the naked human eye can see. And the various technologies used on touch screens have progressed to enable very fast response and recognition of dozens of simultaneous touches; the multitouch screen has arrived. A techcrunch.com article report that smart phone screens would soon be thinner!

Advantages of the Multitouch Screen

When the first touch screens were introduced, people were amazed at the great new technology which allowed them to input data or access files through simple touches. It did not matter that the early screens were only capable of recognizing a single touch at any one time – they offered sufficient convenience for the user that they were very popular even although they were very expensive. But when interactive screens with multi touch capability came out, they gave users an even higher level of convenience.

First off, it is easy to collaborate using a screen with multi touch capability. It does not really matter whether the users are colleagues working together on a project, a group fine tuning an ad campaign with the clients, students discussing a lesson with their teacher or real estate agents presenting their products to clients; a multi touch screen helps make their jobs easier, more professional, and much more efficient. It also helps that using interactive screens make presentations just a bit more impressive.

The ability to direct the computer by directly touching the display screens makes learning easier. Clutter around work tables and offices are reduced because you don’t need to use a separate keyboard and mouse for each user.

Manipulating images is also a breeze with multi touch screens. Using simple gestures you can open files, rotate and resize objects, input data and share content. There are software upgrades which allow you to program a multi touch screen to respond to custom gestures. With interactive screens having multi touch capability interacting with our computers and smart devices, and using social media has never been easier.

Why Some People Do Not Like Touch Screens

Despite the many advantages of interactive multi touch screens, some people have a hard time using them and would rather switch back to the keyboard, mouse, and touchpad combination. On touch screens users cannot touch the individual keys on a keyboard. Thus poor eyesight can cause errors in data entry. People with ‘fat fingers’ also have a hard time entering data correctly. Some touch screens are sensitive to smudges or dirt on its surfaces.

But if you have good eyesight and nimble fingers, multi touch screens can make data entry, file access and object manipulation very convenient. If not, it may be best to keep using computers and phones with passive screens.

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