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MDM policies can secure data without sacrificing usability

The increasing number of mobile devices being connected to enterprise networks has presented a mobile security challenge for businesses, and traditional IT solutions may not be able to keep up with network needs, according to a recent Government Computer News article.

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MDM policies can secure data without sacrificing usability

security, policies, mobile device management


The increasing number of mobile devices being connected to enterprise networks has presented a mobile security challenge for businesses, and traditional IT solutions may not be able to keep up with network needs, according to a recent Government Computer News article.

The article highlighted comments from Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst of the Enterprise Security Group, who said organizations need to develop their mobile security policies from the ground up and consider users, groups, rules and responsibilities as they develop those policies. IT managers must decide what capabilities they need in a mobile solution, as well as the type of network access that will be allowed, so that the effectiveness of mobile device management strategies can be measured against business goals.

Mobile device management strategies: Embracing mobility

The protection of sensitive data has been a major challenge for organizations embracing enterprise mobility. IT professionals are concerned about whether information can be protected when accessed by a wide range of devices. In response, many organizations are adopting MDM strategies that address security risks while utilizing mobile technology to add value to the organization.

For example, the United States Department of Defense released a report on its mobile device strategy on June 8. Despite concerns over highly sensitive information, the DoD is embracing workforce mobility.

The report defines its mobility vision as, "a highly mobile workforce equipped with secure access to information and computing power anywhere at anytime for greater mission effectiveness" and identifies several goals to move forward with embracing mobility. These goals include evolving DoD IT infrastructure to support mobile devices, instituting mobile policies and encouraging the use of mobile and web applications.

Mobile device policies should extend value beyond data protection and provide guidelines for encouraging "secure, yet rapid adoption of commercial mobile devices." The DoD also identified a need for consistent security and interoperability policies.

Organizations shouldn't let mobile device security hinder progress

Businesses can follow the DoD's lead and go ahead with enterprise mobility, with robust mobile device strategies to guide them. A recent ITWeb article highlighted comments from Doros Hadjizenonos, Sales Manager for southern Africa at Check Point Software Technologies, who said businesses with comprehensive policies can balance security and usability.

According to Hadjizenonos, "[organizations] need to provide the users an ability to authenticate to the business data while continuing to work freely on their personal data and personal apps; the ability to encrypt business data, and, eventually, the ability to remote wipe only the business data if the device gets lost, or an employee stops working for the company, without wiping any personal item or application."

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