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Keeping BYO devices out of the wrong hands

By Derek Hardy

Remember the old days, when companies issued a standard mobile device to employees?

This device was secure and encrypted, with the company holding ultimate control over what the device could access and share.

With the proliferation of new smartphones that offered sleek hardware, copious apps, and user-friendly software, some employees began to carry two phones; one for work, one for play. Eventually, employees wanted to use their own devices for both purposes, developing loyalty to an OS and preferring the systems to which they had become accustomed.

While the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend arguably boosts company morale and saves companies money by allowing the individual employees to absorb the costs of their own hardware, there is a level of risk involved that has the potential to be quite costly.

What happens, for example, if an employee has sensitive data on her device and she leaves it in a taxi? The company's sensitive data is left to be picked up by the next fare. If an employee leaves the company and takes his personal device with him, the company's data and applications may still be accessible to him on his device. These data breaches could pose huge problems if the data fell into the wrong hands.

How can a company secure its proprietary information on its employees' personal devices?

A service like Mobile Device Management (MDM) offers a solution to businesses that want to provide flexibility and mobility to their employees while maintaining their security protocols.

With MDM, certain applications can be pushed to the employees' mobile devices. These apps are company-controlled and can be blocked or removed if a device is lost, stolen, or leaving the company with a resigning employee. Meanwhile, employees can run their own personal apps using their preferred devices. MDM allows any device to be used for both work and personal purposes without risk to the company.

In addition to security, MDM offers businesses with convenience, as technicians can set up company e-mail on new devices with a few clicks. This provides a simplified user experience as well as a simplified IT experience. Businesses needing support for cloud-based e-mail systems can use their native e-mail clients with Microsoft Office 365, with improved security for control of out-of-compliance devices.

What makes the MDM experience even more user friendly and accessible is the power of the technology to produce an office experience on different technology devices. Whether using a smartphone, tablet, thin client or desktop, the user experience will still be the same across all operating systems. Allowing business users to cross the different operating systems with seamless and controlled engagement is an added benefit of MDM.

Times have changed, but solutions like MDM help businesses keep pace with growing trends like BYOD while keeping their processes streamlined and their data secure.

This week's TechFocus column was submitted by Derek Hardy, head of Business Development at Digicel Business. To find out more about Mobile Device Management or other business solutions, please call Derek at 500-5000 or e-mail

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Published September 18, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 17, 2013 at 7:32 pm)

Keeping BYO devices out of the wrong hands

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