skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

Ovum view


With the progressive adoption of virtualization across all infrastructure layers, it is possible to rethink the traditional security boundary. When the security perimeter is reduced, endpoint management is simplified and security is improved, while at the same time, end users are allowed greater freedom.

Identify the perimeter and protect what is important

Government agencies have traditionally operated in an environment of strong controls around IT systems based on defined information classification schemes. In many cases, such schemes result in the classification of mundane information at a higher level than necessary, and access to it is then locked down on all systems.

Although this may appeal to management because it seems simple, it often results in two negative consequences. First, the vast majority of material is over-protected, which is costly, and second, higher than necessary restrictions on users’ activities to protect the small percentage of truly sensitive material leads to poor user outcomes.

Whether the security perimeter is physical or virtual, reducing it to encircle sensitive information as closely as possible and not additional resources that the organization cares less about reduces complexity and risk.

With the maturing and progressive adoption of virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI), it is possible to maintain a stronger but smaller perimeter around the information that requires it while allowing greater flexibility outside. Endpoint devices, whether PCs, thin-clients, or mobile devices, can be subject to more permissive local management regimes when information remains within the data center.

A similar perimeter-reduction idea can be achieved through the use of containerization technologies in mobile device management (MDM) solutions.

Without containerization, the perimeter is the entire mobile device – and organizations have to manage all aspects of its configuration to the endorsed security standard. With containerization, the perimeter is pulled back to the container, with the sensitive information inside corporately managed and everything outside unmanaged, from an organizational viewpoint. Sensitive material is managed appropriately without the overhead of administering complex hardware configurations or limiting the user experience with excessive and unwarranted lock-down.

Unfortunately, every high-profile information security breach renews calls to “lock everything down” as a knee-jerk reaction to perceived system inadequacies. The challenge for agencies is to correctly identify and manage their information security boundaries, minimizing the material held within the “inner sanctum” and communicating throughout the organization why this is the most appropriate approach.


Further reading

“Government can’t afford not to manage BYOD,” IT0007-000788 (November 2014)

The Viability of VDI in 2015, IT0022-000281 (January 2015)

“UK government issues BYOD guidance for private and public sector organizations,” IT0021-000025 (September 2014)


Al Blake, Principal Analyst, Public Sector

Recommended Articles

  • Consumer & Entertainment Services

    US pay TV: Is it facing an existential threat?

    By Adam Thomas 28 Mar 2018

    With US pay TV having endured the worst year in its history, thoughts have inevitably turned to the future. The likelihood remains that the immediate future will remain highly uncomfortable for everyone except the scaled multinational digital platforms.

  • Enterprise Decision Maker, Enterprise IT Strategy and Select...

    2017 Trends to Watch: Big Data

    By Tony Baer 21 Nov 2016

    The breakout use case for big data will be fast data. The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing the urgency for enterprises to embrace real-time streaming analytics, as use cases from mobile devices and sensors become compelling to a wide range of industry sectors.

    Topics Big data and analytics IoT

  • Enterprise Services

    5G: Another technology in search of enterprise use cases

    By Evan Kirchheimer 26 Apr 2018

    Service provider interest in justifying 5G investment through its potential to open new revenue streams from the enterprise segment is growing ever greater.


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

Email us at

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 788 597 5160 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now