The easiest way to secure the network and protect company data is to simply not allow mobile devices to access company resources at all. Of course, that’s a highly impractical policy, and one that ignores the many benefits mobile devices bring to the table. You can block non-managed devices from connecting to the network, and you can lock down USB ports on company PCs, but it’s virtually impossible to ban employee-owned devices altogether.
That doesn’t mean you should just surrender and let the employees do whatever they like. There are pros and cons for both the company and the users when it comes to adopting a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, and users need to understand from square one that the tradeoff for being allowed to use their own smartphone or tablet for work is that the IT admin must be able to exercise some control to protect the network and sensitive company data.
In order to manage mobile devices effectively, you need to employ some form of mobile device management (MDM) tool. MDM gives IT admins the ability to manage security settings on mobile devices, track the mobile devices with access to the network, monitor compliance with company policies, and remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices if necessary.
Whether your users work from iPhones and iPads, Android devices, or some other mobile platform, it is your job as an IT administrator to manage access to network resources and protect company data stored on mobile devices. Managing mobile devices—particularly in mixed-platform environments—requires smart management.
You already have enough on your plate, and probably don’t need yet another management console or framework to administer. Fortunately, you can often use the same management software you use for your laptops and desktops to maintain your mobile devices as well.
Mobile devices are ubiquitous these days and have evolved to the point that it’s like carrying a fully capable PC in your pocket. The benefits of so much power and information in such a small, portable device are offset to some extent by the increased exposure to risk that comes with it.
It’s relatively futile—never mind being a shortsighted business strategy—to try and prevent the flood of mobile devices into the workplace. Whether the devices are company-issued smartphones and tablets or personal iPhones and iPads being brought from home, mobile devices are a reality that IT has to face. The first step to effectively managing the mobile devices in your environment is to establish a clear, written policy governing their use.
Here are five factors you should consider in creating your mobile device policy:
Many users who travel find they’ve left vital information they need on their desktop back at the office. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t still connect to their desktop using an iPhone or iPad from wherever they are to retrieve files, access applications, or use corporate portals that are blocked from outside the corporate network.
There are four primary methods a user can employ to remotely access their desktop PC from their iOS device:
Between laptops and ultrabooks, smartphones and tablets, most employees are bringing multiple devices in and out of the office on a daily basis. While these devices are essential for today’s flexible and mobile workforce, they also present a host of challenges to IT administrators. Fortunately, most of these challenges can be handled by implementing a strong Enterprise Mobile Strategy, which should include a mobile device management (MDM) solution.
“Capabilities of Mobile Device Management Solutions are expanding exponentially, thanks in part to rapidly evolving mobile operating systems,” says Crystal Montvid, Mobility Solution Architect for CDW. “This is leading to a higher rate of adoption of these solutions within organizations. Admins need to get their mobile devices under control with a clear, simple solution that streamlines device provisioning, ensures data security, and provides secure access for both managed and non-managed devices.”
Mobile device administrators agree that there are certain elements necessary for a strong MDM platform. Here are five capabilities any viable MDM solution must have: