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Forrester Research Releases Mobile Device Management Best Practices


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August 29, 2011

Forrester Research Releases Mobile Device Management Best Practices

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

A recent white paper has been released that is very important to read if you’re at all involved in the mobile device management space which a majority of people are, titled “Fifteen Mobile Policy Best Practices, An Empowered Report: Redefining your Mobile Policy To Enable Empowered Workers.” This paper was written by Benjamin Gray and Christian Kane, with assistance from Robert Whiteley (News - Alert) and Alex Crumb.

As you’re no doubt aware, with consumer smartphones and maturing enterprise-class mobile applications, not to mention all the slates and tablets that will be folded into the mix, I&O managers “must meet the needs of workers while continuing to ensure that corporate data is properly managed and secured across all devices, regardless of who owns the hardware,” the paper states.

Forrester (News - Alert) Research went on to clearly identify some of the best practices that I&O managers should use when crafting their new mobile policies that are designed to “keep corporate data secure, employees productive and happy, and costs down.” Overall, the research firm encourages infrastructure and operations managers to assess the needs of the workforce, invest in the right mobile device management and security and build or revisit the mobile policy.

Some of the major best practices they highlighted include:

1.    Engaging the business to understand their mobile requirements. IT and business stakeholder interviews are okay for infrastructure projects and applications driven by a top-down business need, not so much for discretionary technologies such as computers, mobile phones, and voice and data plans

2.    Determining the varying levels of service and support options for the segmented workforce. Firms are adopting three tiers of service such as corporate-liable devices provisioned with PIM and business applications, personally-owned devices lightly managed and supported by I&O and users that are free to connect their own devices with web-based PIM applications unsupported by I&O

3.    Reserving the right to manage all mobile devices with access to corporate resources like PCs. Make sure to require the installation of the firm’s security profiles on the mobile devices as a condition of access to corporate resources.

4.    Protecting the integrity and privacy of corporate data by isolating it from personal data. This might require sandboxing it in a secure container.

5.    Managing the native environment through a trusted approach that checks for policy compliance or hosting it in a data center or public cloud.

6.    Enforcing strong security policies that prevent data security breaches. I&O managers need to set a security baseline for all mobile devices. This starts with email, which must be encrypted in transit, and includes a minimum PIN length, prohibition of simple passwords, and autowipe thresholds. Oh, and policy removal prevention and refresh ensure that IT security policies can’t be circumvented and that they stay up-to-date.

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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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