Mobile Device Management

Mobile Phone BYOD

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Mobility and BYOD

There are a lot of advantages to mobility in today’s workforce, but the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) movement has also brought its share of headaches as well. We live in a society where everyone must have the newest technology. We are inundated with ads reminding us that the smartphone or tablet we just bought a year ago is laughably outdated and inferior to the upgrade that just hit the market. People who have just bought the latest technology don’t want to have to set it aside to use a separate company-issued device. As a result, businesses are beginning to grant these employee-owned devices access to their file and email servers, databases, and applications. While this brings certain competitive advantages to employers, it naturally carries many risks, too. Let’s begin with the pros of BYOD… The Advantages of BYOD Greater Flexibility and Productivity Personal devices allow workers more flexibility, which in turn can increase productivity. Today’s employee isn’t restricted to their office workstation or cubicle. They can carry out job responsibilities from home, a coffee shop, their child’s dance recital, or while traveling. Reduced Costs Purchasing even the most basic Blackberry for an employee can cost a company $900+ per worker. Costs like that can be completely eliminated by adopting a BYOD policy where employees are required to use their own device. Happier Employees/Attractiveness to Job Seekers Recent studies have found that 44% of job seekers are attracted more to employers who are open to BYOD and occasional remote work. Beyond this hiring advantage over competition, it has been found that employees as a whole are generally happier using the devices they own and prefer for work purposes. Better Customer Service This goes hand and hand with more flexibility and productivity. Mobility allows employees to occasionally resolve or escalate urgent client issues outside of normal working hours, and clients remember that kind of response time. Disadvantages of BYOD Compromised Data Security Unfortunately, letting employees use their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops increases the likelihood of sensitive company or customer/client data being compromised. It is important for companies to establish a comprehensive mobile device security policy and never make any exceptions to it whatsoever. Really. No exceptions. Ever. Employee Privacy Many employees may oppose using their own devices for work, especially if it’s a company requirement that they aren’t reimbursed for. You have to remember that these are the same devices employees use to log into their Facebook and Twitter accounts or do their online banking. In this age of constant paranoia over big brother watching our every move, employees may be concerned that their employer will spy on them or access their personal passwords and information. Handling Employee Turnover Companies must consider how they will address the retrieval of company data and information from an employee’s device if the employee either quits or is fired. Some companies may require that employees only save or edit company files on their servers or use cloud-based sharing software like Dropbox to share and edit docs. The Importance of a Mobile Device Management Tool Obviously, businesses must keep track of all of the devices that access their server, applications, and data. Mobile Device Management helps enterprises centralize what is an otherwise chaotic hodgepodge of devices and operating systems. This ensures that all devices are configured, deployed, and properly monitored and managed. This is a smart way for businesses to embrace BYOD while securing data and applications across multiple devices. Email us at or use  our contact form to see how Pennyrile Technologies can help your business today.

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Addressing the Threat of Mobile Hacks

More cyber criminals are targeting small-to-medium sized businesses. One reason for this is too many workplaces have insufficient bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in place. Some have none at all. Although firms are generally more knowledgeable about network security risks than in years past, they still woefully underestimate the security vulnerabilities linked to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Protecting against mobile hacks is a real cause for concern since data breaches have the ability to put many already financially challenged SMBs out of business. If customer/client data has been breached, there could be potential litigation costs, and naturally, lost goodwill and an irreparable hit to brand or company reputation. Don’t Just Say You’re Worried About the Bad Guys… Deal With Them SMBs say they view network security as a major priority but their inaction when it comes to mobile devices paints a different picture. A recent study found that only 16% of SMBs have a mobility policy in place. Despite the fact that stolen devices are a major problem in today’s mobile workforce, only 37% of mobility policies enforced today have a clear protocol outlined for lost devices. Even more troubling is the fact that those firms who have implemented mobility policies have initiated plans with some very obvious flaws. Key components of a mobility policy such as personal device use, public Wi-Fi accessibility, and data transmission and storage are often omitted from many policies. Thankfully, most SMB cyber crimes can be avoided with a comprehensive mobility policy and the help of mobile endpoint mobile device management services. A Mobile Device Policy Is All About Acceptable/Unacceptable Behaviors Your initial mobility policy doesn’t have to be all encompassing. There should be room for modifications, as things will evolve over time. Start small by laying some basic usage ground rules, defining acceptable devices and protocols for setting passwords for devices and downloading third-party apps. Define what data belongs to the company and how it’s to be edited, saved, and shared. Be sure to enforce these policies and detail the repercussions for abuse to help protect against mobile hacks. What is Mobile Device Management? Mobile device management (MDM) is software that allows IT administrators to control, secure and enforce policies on smartphones, tablets and other endpoints. The intent of MDM is to optimize the functionality and security of mobile devices within the business while simultaneously protecting the corporate network. Features of Mobile Device Management Services MDM services are available at an affordable cost. These services help IT managers, administrators, and business owners identify and monitor the mobile devices accessing their network. This centralized management makes it easier to get each device configured for business access to securely share and update documents and content and more on the business network. Mobile Device Management proactively secures mobile devices by: Specifying password policy and enforcing encryption settings Detecting and restricting tampered devices Remotely locating, locking, and wiping out lost or stolen devices Removing corporate data from any system while leaving personal data intact Enabling real time diagnosis/resolution of device, user, or app issues It’s important to realize that no one is immune to cyber crime. The ability to identify and combat imminent threats is critical and SMBs must be proactive in implementing solid practices that accomplish just that. If your business needs help implementing mobile device management, give us a call or use our contact form and one of our staff will reach out to you and see how we can help secure your mobile devices.

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Mobile Device Management

A Smarter Approach to Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management has become even more important now that more people today use personal mobile devices like smartphones and tablets for business purposes. Such devices, coupled with greater Wi-Fi accessibility and cloud services, have empowered us with the ability to access data and do business from practically anywhere at anytime. Needless to say, many small-to-medium sized business owners have embraced the BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) revolution. The benefits are obvious; increased employee productivity, enhanced services to customers/clients, and better overall customer and employee satisfaction. But what about the potential consequences associated with this mobility revolution? Are small business owners doing enough preemptive planning to address potential risks that could arise with the use of BYOD devices? Are they using mobile device management to help secure the devices and their IT infrastructure? What is BYOD? BYOD (bring your own device) in IT terms, refers to a policy that allows employees use personal devices to connect to companies network, access business applications, and company data. Personal devices may include smartphones, tablets, or personal computers. An estimated 59% of businesses have a BYOD policy in place and this number is increasing every year. What is Mobile Device Management? Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a type of security software used by IT departments to monitor, manage, and secure employees’ mobile devices—such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops that are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across multiple mobile operating systems being used in the organization. It can be used to monitor hardware, remotely wipe devices that have been lost, and ensuring security standards are met before allowing the device access to sensitive company data to name just a few uses. Think of it like a digital toolbox for companies to keep all their employees’ smartphones, tablets, and laptops safe, up-to-date, and working correctly. What are some of the Features of Mobile Device Management? Device Configuration Management: Allows administrators to configure settings and policies on mobile devices, such as Wi-Fi settings, email accounts, and VPN configurations. Application Management: Enables the installation, updating, and removal of apps on mobile devices. This can include managing enterprise apps and ensuring that only approved apps are installed. Security Management: Provides security features such as enforcing password policies, encrypting data, remotely locking or wiping devices, and managing compliance with security policies. Device Tracking and Inventory: Helps in tracking the location of devices, keeping an inventory of devices, and ensuring that all devices are accounted for. Content Management: Manages access to corporate content on mobile devices, ensuring that sensitive data is properly secured and accessible only to authorized users. Compliance and Monitoring: Monitors devices to ensure they comply with organizational policies and provides reports and alerts for non-compliance or potential security threats. Support and Troubleshooting: Offers tools for remote troubleshooting and support, helping IT departments address issues on mobile devices without needing physical access to them. Mobile Device Management – Questions Every SMB Should Ask First, it is important that small business owners honestly assess whether their systems, networks, data, and overall infrastructure are ready for the use of an array of mobile devices. Once it is firmly established that both internal IT and components in the cloud are prepared for BYOD, solutions should then be put into practice that are concurrent with terms of use policies or any guidelines pertaining to remote and/or telecommute workers or the sharing of sensitive data. The following questions should be answered. What particular devices or applications are permissible for work use? Assuming security requirements are in place, not every device or application will meet those. Will anyone in the company be tasked with the daily management of BYOB strategies? What should BYOD policies cover and what kind of management solutions will be needed? Would a mobile device management tool that collects device information, deploys and monitors usage, and offers insight into compliance be helpful? Which costs will be the responsibility of the employee? This pertains to any fees associated with usage – from network plans to the device itself to software, accessories, and maintenance costs. What data will be accessible? Will data encryption be necessary for certain information traveling through the personal devices of employees? Which employees will have read, write, update/delete privileges? What is the process when handling sensitive data stored on lost or stolen devices, or the personal devices of ex-employees? Does the company or organization have the right to wipe out the entire device or just corporate data and apps? Mobile Device Management Conclusion BYOD is here to stay as it affords smaller-sized companies the mobility of a corporate giant without a huge investment. But when it comes to ensuring that devices, applications, and networks are safe from the variety of threats linked to greater mobility, small business owners may find it necessary to enlist the help of a managed service provider to adequately take on and implement mobile device management for their networks and the challenges that arise with it. MDM solutions are essential for organizations that support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, as well as for those that provide company-owned devices to employees. By centralizing the management of mobile devices, organizations can ensure better security, compliance, and productivity while reducing the risks associated with mobile device usage. If you need assistance implementing BYOD or mobile device management for your business, contact Pennyrile Technologies today.

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