With the whole bring-your-own-device (BYOD) debate largely settled through generally widespread adoption of the concept within the enterprise market, many organisations face the question: what now?
This can be a daunting prospect for companies not prepared for a world in which they have to accept that they have only nominal control over corporate information. The focus therefore needs to shift to what can be controlled, and what to do in the event that physical control is lost.
This latter scenario is one that exposes organisations to all manner of threats to the security of corporate information that extend well beyond passwords and financial data. Legislation like the Protection of Personal Information Act places increasingly onerous demands on companies to protect the information of customers and individuals.
What this calls for is the seemingly impossible task of knowing what information is contained on a device, where that device is at any given moment, and in whose possession it is.
The certainty that an IT executive would previously handover the security of information can be had if a suitably secure and reliable mobile device management (MDM) tool is used to administer the multitude of devices now used to access corporate information.
Both the functionality and security of these types of systems have matured with tremendous speed as BYOD has been more widely adopted.
So much so that enterprises have the same line of sight as if the device and information were contained within the enterprise network.
And largely because the leading MDM tools never allow the information to physically reside on the mobile device. This functionality has been facilitated by cloud-based services that provide ease of access without breaking the corporate network-mobile device barriers.
In instances where corporate information is stored on a device, the MDM should at the very least also provide a sandbox environment that provides a clear separation between corporate and personal information.
To ensure true peace of mind, however, requires that any connections to the enterprise system is sufficiently encrypted to provide the necessary levels of security. In addition, such connections should be secured with protection against viruses and the legion of vulnerabilities that corporate networks are subjected to.
Leading MDM tools come to the fore in protecting companies in the unfortunate eventuality of a device being lost or compromised.
While remote access and wiping of critical information is at the forefront of this type of functionality, geolocation services is as important in apprehending culprits or at the very least recovering lost or stolen devices.
With these types of tools and functionality readily available from leading vendors such as Huawei, IT executives have a greater degree of certainty over the security of their information in this era of constant mobility and demand for access at all times, from anywhere.
* Charlene Munilall, General Manager, Huawei Consumer Business Group, South Africa