(Abstract: This article originally appeared in the Sunday Business Post on Sunday, 23rd September)
The popularity of bring your own devices (BYOD) within companies is growing and for good reason. Since personal devices like smartphones are now ubiquitous, many people feel comfortable using them and are likely to stick to the services that they’re familiar with .
Yet that creates potential risks for companies, especially around the subject of sensitive data and security. If you can strike a balance between accessibility and security, you can have the best of both worlds.
“Usually the main concerns are making sure that all users use the sanctioned apps so they have secure access to company data,” said Leonardo Felippine, Codec’s Senior Cloud and Platform Consultant.
“Making sure that data is only accessible on the devices that users are allowed to access while at the same time making sure that if a device is lost or stolen or if the user leaves the company, the data will no longer be accessible on that device.
“One of the main concerns is making sure that we have it set up in a way that will secure access to corporate data while still allowing users to use their devices for their personal data and not prevent them from working. It needs to be balanced between security and usability.”
For Codec, a full-stack solutions company which spends a great deal of time with its clients on this subject, there are some important tools that help in this area of mobile device management .
The main one is Microsoft’s solutions for device and mobile application management – either by adopting an MDM (Mobile Device Management) or MAM (Mobile Application Management) approach.
The difference between the two is MDM uses software that companies can use to lock down, control, encrypt and enforce policies on mobile devices. MAM does the same thing but only applies it to specific applications related to the corporation.
Codec has been busy incorporating Microsoft cloud solutions into companies to address multiple security concerns including BYOD. One recent example was with a major health clinic where it implemented the Microsoft’s Intune for 200 people.
“Usually we show the client what Microsoft’s Security solutions are is capable of and then we start to work together to define a policy that will work for their business, explained Felippine. “We consider how users use their devices and what kind of devices are in place.
“From there on we set up the policies and then we create tests and a pilot group. We bring a number of different devices and different versions to make sure we can apply policies to all of them.
“Once the pilot is in place, we make any adjustments that might be necessary and from there on, we put it into production for everyone”.
One of the reasons why Intune is used by Codec is its ability to help users be as productive as they can while ensuring that they are well-protected.
As it’s part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite, it means that the company is well-versed in how it fits in with the entire ecosystem like Azure and Office 365. The overall scope of protection it offers fits in with the ever-changing digital landscape that businesses face, bringing both scale and flexibility together.
Felippine mentioned that some companies already know what they want from Codec when they have that first meeting while others want to see how it can help them deal with problems like its workers accessing corporate data on their devices.
In either scenario, the problem of securing data and forming data policies is a constant factor and as technology changes, the approach adapts with it.
“We do our best with the solutions that are available to make sure they’re secure,” he said. “The responsibility also relies on the users to make sure their devices aren’t unlocked or that they share devices with someone else. Therefore, everyone needs to be aware.
“Our journey is always evolving so every now and then, there are new features that might be useful for some companies so we let them know that something they mentioned and wanted is available now”.
To find out more about how you can find the right balance in your BYOD Strategy, register for our webinar ‘BYOD Security? What are the risks and how can they be mitigated?’