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April 19, 2012

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Filed under: All Blog Postings — Craig Pollack @ 11:08 am

Do you have a company supplied smartphone or do you use your personal one to get your company email?  There used to be a clear line between company and personal when it came to smartphones and accessing company data.  Within the last few years, this line has more than just blurred - it's been obliterated.  What was once only done on a company supplied smartphone is now being done all over the place on personal smartphones and tablets.  Because of this, it used to be that company data was easier to manage and secure.  Smartphones themselves are (relatively) "easy" to manage.  With the line so much more blurred, smartphones are now a major issue when it comes to the impact they have on IT staff to manage them, support them, and secure them.

While most smartphones are purely personal, we're seeing more and more of these devices being connected into the networks we're managing.  This means more and more of them have company information on them - emails, texts, documents, etc.  So, what does this really mean?  Well, from the IT channel's perspective it means MDM (Mobile Device Management) and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) have become hot topics.  Clearly the line is blurring.  The issue for us AND our clients is the impact to the organization.  One of the bigger issues relates to the additional threat BYOD brings to company security.  And here's why: a little known, but startling fact is 70 million smartphones are lost each year, with only 7 percent of them being recovered!  Most companies are unaware of this statistic and most are NOT doing anything to protect themselves when it comes to this potential loss.

We recently upgraded our monitoring and alerting system and one of the latest additions to it gives us is the ability to monitor and manage Android devices and iPhones.  Not only do we have the ability to monitor them, but we also have the ability to wipe their contents if they've "gone rogue".  This is a HUGE benefit to our clients who want to allow access for personal smartphones yet limit the risk these devices bring.  Regardless of where it's at, we can ensure everything that's on them won't get into the wrong hands.  This is huge!

So, what are you doing to protect your company's data sitting on your staff's phones right about now?