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Mobile Device Management Allows Users to Wipe Data from Devices Remotely


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August 03, 2012

Mobile Device Management Allows Users to Wipe Data from Devices Remotely

By David Gitonga, TMCnet Contributing Writer

You’ve lost your iPhone (News - Alert) and the company you work for wants to remotely wipe everything off it. Although this is made possible by mobile device management, what happens to all your personal messages and pictures that have been saved to the smartphone? This is the kind of scenario facing different companies today, especially those that have embraced the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon. With most companies now allowing employees to access company e-mail, calendars and apps on their devices, the thin line between personal and company data gets even blurrier.

The proliferation and co-mingling of data on personal devices brings with it new challenges to IT departments. According to the Head of Human Resources for Dimension Data (News - Alert) Americas, Denise Messineo, “There’s such a data flow, it’s hard to police.” The risks of BYOD have required companies to keep their fingers on the button. In other words, businesses give employees access to company information on their personal devices, but require them to sign a document outlining that the company has the right to remotely delete all data from the device in case it is compromised. The right to perform a remote wipe off gets more important as companies develop mobile applications that allow employees to access databases and services on the go.

To ensure that no trace of company data is left during a remote wipe off, some companies are using software from providers like California-based MobileIron to remotely, but selectively, remove company e-mail accounts and applications which leaves personal information intact. The mobile device management provider allows companies to offer employees access to their personal devices without the risks involved.

While it has become relatively easy to manage mobile devices as-of-late, how about laptops? Software introduced by VMware lets employees fully access desktops, software and documents stored on remote servers. By having all their work reside on servers, people can use their laptops to access desktops, apps and documents that are all located within the server, allowing more control on these devices as well.

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Edited by Jamie Epstein

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