Internet Solutions (IS) this week announced the launch of its mobile device management (MDM) solution. IS MDM assists businesses with the management of the mobile devices that their employees are using to access company resources and information.
As smartphone use grows, so the trend to bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is making itself felt in business environments. The use of their own devices by employees poses risks to businesses, which stand to lose confidential data, or be exposed to attacks through insecure smartphones and tablets.
MDM tools offer a solution to both the risks and the hassle (to IT departments) of having hundreds (if not thousands) of unknown devices attempting to access the company network, use company resources and store and modify company information.
Internet Solutions’ Communications Executive, Wayne Speechly, says IS is taking a two-pronged approach in its solution, offering consulting services and a technology solution.
“BYOD can benefit organisations because it makes employees more productive through enabling collaboration anywhere, anytime, it increases employee satisfaction and reduces operational costs. MDM solutions like IS’ enable employers to realise these benefits while mitigating the security risks and protecting both employees and employers from threats, data breaches and data loss,” says Speechly.
“Many organisations are not taking the threats posed by the BYOD trend seriously,” he comments. “It is important for companies to have policies in place that govern what devices employees may or may not use, how the device is to be managed, how the company’s data will be secured and managed on a device and, importantly, how the company will safeguard employees’ personal data, and not overstep the bounds of the employee/employer relationship.”
IS is assisting its customers to develop BYOD device policies by providing guidelines and advice on what to do and what not to, including getting employee buy-in. Employees have traditionally been hostile to employers’ efforts to impose company policies and restrictions on their personal devices, and are concerned about companies accessing their personal communications. Companies need to be sensitive to this and ensure that their policies and approach to MDM take full cognisance of employees’ rights to privacy and protection of the personal data on their devices.
Company information and access needs to be protected, and companies have an obligation to ensure it is safeguarded in the most secure fashion possible.
Here, IS MDM can help by assisting IT staff to enrol new devices, configure and update settings over-the-air, enforce security policies and compliance, secure mobile access to corporate resources, and remotely lock and wipe managed devices.
IS’ offering is available for all mobile platforms. It enables access rights and privileges to be granted in modular fashion or according to organisational roles. The solution offers single sign-on, making life easier for potentially unwilling users and is available for companies with a requirement for 25-seats and up.
In addition to helping its customers develop and set up a BYOD policy, IS also offers training. The company hosts the solution in its highly-available world-class data centres, and traffic between enterprise servers and the IS cloud is encrypted.
New versions and updates are released regularly in order to keep up with the plethora of new device options - a new version of a mobile device (platform/OS/hardware) is released every 15 days, and it is critical that tools stay current, Speechly comments.
“The business benefits of the BYOD trend outweigh the threats, as long as devices are correctly managed. Businesses that take advantage of this trend now stand to gain in the longer term as BYOD moves from being a trend to the de facto means to provision devices to employees,” he concludes.