If your company employs any kind of Bring Your Own Device policy, it’s probably time to ramp up your Mobile Device Management (MDM). All companies should have some form of device management for their employees (e.g., password requirements, network stipulations), but that doesn’t mean they have enough protection.
Why Does MDM Matter?
MDM is a software solution that lets employers know their data is secure while accessible on an employee’s device. It provides ways for employers to set policies, ensure strong passwords, remotely wipe data if necessary, and oversee the security. Network security is difficult even when hardware stays in one place, but the threats magnify when the location constantly changes. Companies can stay compliant and keep sensitive company data from harm when they’re able to control all mobile devices policies from a single location.
You can think of MDM as a type of central intelligence where you can track, arrange and compartmentalize data, and provide updates to employee devices as appropriate. When your employees use their devices for other matters, you have a way of separating work information from personal.
Bare Minimums: Setting Policy
Ideally, you should have several specific characteristics before you settle on an MDM strategy. The first step is to decide what policies your company plans to enable, such as requiring device-wide encryption and automatically lock or wipe a device. Be sure to directly state which rights the firm will retain with regard to provisioning mobile devices.
Provisioning may include carrier activation, as well as installation of encryption technologies, various software tools, security certificates, anti-virus and more. Other items to consider within the policy are:
- Password and screensaver policies
- Blocking or removal of specific applications
- Encryption policies
- Process and timing of security scans
- Procedures for taking inventory of mobile device data and applications
Loss, Theft and Termination Considerations
When it comes to device loss and theft, MDM allows firms to easily remotely wipe a device. But there are other elements for firms to consider. These include outlining in a firm’s policy who is responsible for charges associated with repair to a damaged mobile device or replacement of a lost device if it is company owned. Policies should also make it clear in this section that any lost or damaged devices need to be immediately reported to the appropriate firm personnel so that sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands.
Finally, MDM software is especially useful during employee termination procedures as the firm can wipe all necessary data from the device while allowing the employee to retain their personal data.