According to the recent CDW Small Business Mobility Report, 94 percent of small business users believe that mobile devices make them more efficient regardless of challenges these devices pose to security and management. However, most of those surveyed remain unfamiliar with mobile device management (MDM) technology that could make the tasks for security and management much easier—especially in light of the BYOD (bring your own device) business culture that prevails today.
Managing multiple devices, while maintaining security, can be a logistical nightmare without proper mobile device management tools and technology. That’s why the need for MDM technology has grown so quickly. In fact, many businesses have made creating a strategy for minimizing mobile device risks a priority for 2013.
It’s Not Just Mobile Phones Anymore
Now, tablets are becoming widely used, and even distributed, in companies everywhere. These handy devices are instrumental in many businesses in keeping employees productive even when on the go. They are highly portable and extremely efficient tools. However, they are security disasters waiting to happen that are evolving faster than the ability of most IT departments to keep up with.
Laptops are still kings of the hill when it comes to getting work done, but as the technology for tablets grow, we’ll probably see a greater dependency on these devices—particularly in jobs that require constant mobility.
Why Consider MDM?
Mobile device management is not simply a new buzzword in the world of business. Over the next few years, it’s a word you’ll be hearing more and more often as newer tools and technology flood the marketplace. With so many businesses finally realizing that productivity is improved by allowing employees to select their own devices, according to what works best for them on individual levels, the new challenge has been finding a way to make them all compatible.
That’s where MDM comes into the picture. It provides a platform that accepts all devices and makes sure they’re all speaking the same language. But that’s not all businesses should do in order to protect precious data.
These are a few steps you should take in order to improve security that go beyond MDM:
- Create policies regarding mobile device usage—particularly the installation and use of new apps on mobile devices.
- Develop a plan of action for the “end of life” of mobile devices so that company information is protected when employees upgrade or switch devices.
- Make sure all apps are tested before allowing them to be used on mobile devices with sensitive company information on them.
- Create safeguards to deal with lost or stolen devices.
- Enforce the policies that are created so that there is no doubt among employees about how seriously you’re taking mobile device security.
- Invest in cyber liability insurance to provide coverage in case of a loss of data or security breach.
The need for mobile device management is going to grow exponentially as the dependency of companies for mobile devices grows. It’s a good idea for companies to begin immediately adopting policies for mobile device security along with multi-platform mobile device management so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to both.