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Mobile Device Management Curbs BYOD Risks


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June 11, 2012

Mobile Device Management Curbs BYOD Risks

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

An employee in a sensitive company position loses her smartphone. Because of the company emails and other documents stored on the smartphone, the organization wants to remotely wipe all of the data from the phone to prevent a security breach. However, the phone also contains her music, pictures of her family and other personal information. What’s a girl—and her company—to do? Mobile device management from a company like MobileIron may provide the answer.

MobileIron’s MDM solutions allows companies to remotely wipe company email accounts and applications from employees’ smartphones and tablets without destroying their personal data. When an employee leaves the company or when a mobile device is lost or recycled, mobile device management software ensures that company records and data are kept safe.

According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, the McNair Group, which owns the Houston Texans NFL football team, recently was concerned that mobile devices did not require secure passwords tokens that the company did require on laptops for employees wanting to access company data. Jeff Schmitz, who manages technology for the Texans, opted for mobile device management from MobileIron to alleviate upper management concerns about data security.

American Hotel Register Co., another company that has been assisted by MobileIron, delayed implementing a BYOD strategy until they had a mobile device management system in place. “You don't want to have anything you can't manage," tech team head Bruce Barrington says. “If I'm told someone in North Carolina has been let go, I can go to my desk, remotely remove their device from our systems, and it is as if our software wasn't on it.”

Mobile device management software also allows IT personnel to see the data on the sales staff’s iPads. If the iPad is running out of memory, then the tech team can tell people to delete some of their personal photo and music files.

Additionally, some companies are using their tablets to access virtual desktops. Because the desktop, applications and information are stored on another server, the company’s data never actually exists on the employee’s mobile device. Virtual desktops also give IT better tools for managing laptops, which can be more difficult to control because files can be tucked into a variety of folders.

Solutions like MobileIron’s make BYOD possible without endangering either company data or employees’ personal data. For firms that can’t afford to purchase devices for every employee, mobile device management software provides the ideal balance.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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