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The Case for Implementing a Mobile Device Management Strategy

Consider this: 84 percent of individuals use their mobile phone for both personal and work purposes, according to one survey by Coalfire. That same survey also revealed that 47 percent of respondents don’t have a password on their mobile phone. Now consider this: a Kensington report says that 70 million mobile phones are lost each year, and only 7 percent are recovered. If your job includes any level of responsibility for the security of sensitive data or valuable intellectual property, this has to make you a little nervous. And that uneasy feeling is reason enough to seriously think about mobile device management.

Of course the security and liability threat from mobile devices isn’t limited to exposure from a lost phone. Intellectual property theft, targeted hacking or wireless data sniffing and malware are among the many reasons to carefully plan a corporate security strategy for mobile devices.

Balancing Security vs. Convenience with Sandboxing

The primary response to these threats is known as “sandboxing” or “containerization.” In the mobile world, sandboxing generally means establishing a virtual space on a device that keeps corporate content in, yet keeps unauthorized intrusions out. At one end of the spectrum, this can be accomplished with a completely locked-down device that allows only corporate-sanctioned apps and communicates only with secure corporate networks. But with the proliferation of mobile technology for personal use and the growing support for personally-owned devices (BYOD), this approach is highly inconvenient for users, and encourages employees to circumvent security measures. To quote Aaron Freimark, CTO of Tekserve, “Today’s mobile management boils down to a trade-off between control and usability. The stronger the control, the less flexible and familiar the experience is for the user.”

The Rise of Mobile Device Management Solutions

So, companies are turning instead to mobile device management (MDM) solutions. This kind of containerization comes in a wide range of flavors, including virtualized operating systems protected at the firmware level, VMWare-like sandbox environments that run on top of a typical operating system, and application-level sandboxing comprising “wrappers” at the application, content, or workspace levels.

Key features of MDM solutions include the ability to:

  • Require a password (and manage policy)
  • Detect compromised devices (like jailbroken phones)
  • Remotely manage applications, erase corporate data, and disable certain device functions
  • Prevent the transfer of data outside the sandbox
  • Block access by unauthorized applications

In the past few years some key players have emerged with balanced MDM solutions, including Citrix XenMobile, MobileIron, AirWatch, Good, and many more.

Introducing BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10

Among the most notable of these MDM solutions is BlackBerry’s new BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Service) 10. It’s no secret that BlackBerry’s reputation has suffered in recent years, despite its early lead as a secure corporate mobile platform. With BES 10, however, companies already committed to the BlackBerry platform — and those seeking a better level of sandbox control — may have a viable path forward.

The keys to BES 10’s strength are its impressive suite of device management tools and its full support for both iOS and Android, in addition to BlackBerry OS. This allows the corporation to manage deployment of a rich, containerized environment on a variety of devices, including multiple devices per user. And for BlackBerry users, the inclusion of BlackBerry Balance gives users the freedom to use their device for both personal and business activities without compromising security.

Published Tuesday, August 13, 2013 7:18 PM by David Marshall
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The Case for Implementing a Mobile Device Management Strategy - Telapprise - (Author's Link) - August 26, 2013 11:18 AM
The Case for Implementing a Mobile Device Management Strategy - Telapprise - (Author's Link) - August 26, 2013 11:18 AM
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