The rise of mobile apps, mobile devices and cloud computing is occurring quickly and with it comes many new rules that companies and employees need to be aware of. For enterprise mobility to be successful it needs to monitored and secured just like any other business process.
Create a policy that focuses specifically on mobility and the use of mobile devices in the workplace. This policy will include the rules that all employees or users of mobile devices for work purposes will have to adhere to. Base your policy format on whether the mobile devices are provided by the company or if employees are utilizing personal mobile devices in a professional capacity. It must be made clear who owns what, especially when it comes to confidential data and company information. A clear divide needs to be made between what the employee does after-hours and what happens when the employee no longer works for the company. When personal mobile devices are used remember to also focus on the professional image you want to project to the outside world and how it is separated from an employee’s own image.
A policy should include a few basics about mobile devices used for professional purposes. Maintain records of each device, its owner, usage patterns and what is acceptable with regards to this, the applications that have been installed, the application versions, phone numbers, carriers and other vital stats. Take into account if your employees travel a lot internationally and what roaming costs are associated with this. Keep all documents associated with insurance and take note of where your employees store their devices when not at the office.
Ensure that all confidential data from your company is stored in a secure manner. Make use of a good security system, password, encryptions and confidentiality agreements. It must also be made clear that the data is the possession of your company and any unlawful use of this data will be seen as theft. Treat the security of mobile devices with the same care that you would any piece of office equipment. Enterprise mobility may seem like an intangible thing but it still needs to be managed and controlled with care so that it works to your company’s advantage.
Keeping software up-to-date is also an important consideration as neglecting this can lead to uneven versions amongst employees and not everyone being able to access the same documents because of this. Outdated software also jeopardises security. There must be automatic updates set up to ensure that security software is running on its newest version to protect mobile devices against malware attacks and viruses. Try to download, use or buy mobile apps that perform many different functions in one. If there are too many apps doing separate functions it is much more difficult to keep track of information and manage data. You may need to have a system whereby apps need to be pre-approved by management before they can be installed and employees are made responsible for keeping all software up-to-date to ensure uniformity and safety of information.
Mobile Device Management
Mobile Device Management (or MDM) secures, manages and monitors mobile devices whether they are company-owned or employee-owned. Functions of MDM include over-the-air distribution of applications (this includes remote configuring devices), and data and configuration of mobile devices (tablets, smartphones and so on). In the case of MDM you have a server that sends out management commands and a client component that carries out the management commands from the server.
Mobile Application Management
The broad definition of Mobile Application Management (or MAM) is software and services responsible for controlling and managing all internally developed and commercially available mobile apps. Those who make use of MAM usually only focus on applications and not on the overall devices like MDM does. Features of this would include crash log reporting, push services, app updates, user and group access controls, app version management and app configuration.
Enterprise mobility needs to be treated as a business process with the same potential to have negative effects as any other part of business. If these potential risks and negatives are controlled and managed from the start with an element of flexibility, it is much easier to reap the benefits. Enterprise mobility is on a path where companies still need to figure out the rules that apply and the rules that don’t but it will be rewarding to do so.