By Bobby R. Williams Jr. on 10/8/20 7:00 AM
Remember the good ole days? The days of yester-year, when all you had to manage were stationary in-house computers and an on-prem email server …
If you are on the side of convenience and productivity, you would agree we have come a long way since the good ole days. We went from the confines of the office, to remote dummy terminals, to full remote connectivity. Even secure cloud storage and apps are now common. With the development of a flexible work force came the laptop/notebook computer, allowing users to enjoy all the functions of a desktop … but only if they could find a relatively safe and flat surface … like the top of a lap for example.
Enter the mobile device. By 2020, 5.4 billion people will have at least one mobile device, according to Cisco’s annual report on mobile traffic growth. We rely on mobile devices and data syncing now more than ever. Smart phones and tablets enable us to do more than simply check our email. These pocket computers give access to many systems behind our corporate firewalls. That access can be leveraged while standing in line for coffee. These devices have provided true mobility, with users accessing, controlling and creating data vital to organizational functions.
Fortunately, there are systems developed to help the technology team tackle the added responsibility of mobile devices. Such a system is referred to as (MDM) or Mobile Device Management.
Why is this significant?
With greater access comes greater risk. Those risks persist whether you provide your team with devices or allow them to connect personal devices to the company system. Allowing mobile devices to access your network and control data dramatically increases exposure. For bad actors, this means more opportunities to breach your system. Mobile devices are frequently lost, stolen or damaged. All these factors make Mobile Device Management an integral part of your information governance protocol. An MDM solution should cause your organization to ask the following:
- Which devices are compatible with the system we want to deploy?
- Should we provide devices or allow users to connect their personal devices?
- What functions should we allow? What restrictions should we put in place?
- Can we track the device?
- Can we access the device contents, including over air backups?
- Can we control the device remotely, including shutdowns and/or wipes if needed?
- Can we unlock the phone if the user forgets the passcode?
These are just a few examples, but you get the picture. Using MDM solutions give organizations control of security and function. It also gives an investigator additional options if mobile devices become relevant in an investigation.
What’s my takeaway?
If your organization allows or deploys mobile devices, use Mobile Device Management of some kind. You will need to do some research to determine the right configuration. You do not need to do it alone. Speak to a qualified consultant or expert services provider for guidance. They can help you do the following:
- Choose what works best for your organization.
- BYOD – Bring Your Own Device
- CYOD – Choose Your Own Device
- COPE – Company Owned, Personally Enabled
- COBO – Company Owned, Business Only
- Automate device monitoring and security
- Understand device compatibility
- Simplify by deploying a versatile tool
- Execute protocols and enforce policies
These steps are general but can dramatically impact your ability to choose and implement an MDM solution. It’s a just CAUSE that affects the security of your systems (see what I did there?)