Securing Employee-Owned Smartphones

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 @ 05:08 PM gHale


With the rise of personal mobile devices, instead of requiring employees to use a standard smartphone, more IT departments are looking at some degree of control over employee-owned devices, to manage and secure them.
“The corporate standards dam is breaking, as platforms like Android and iPhone push their way into the enterprise,” said Phillip Redman, vice president at Gartner Research. “Most companies will accept these, and prepare guidelines and processes for managing and securing them.”
Best practices include “segmenting users into work styles by mobility and application requirements, and matching up device choices,” Redman said. Another key: adopting of a mobile device management platform or service to help manage the use, configuration and security of these devices.
The approach needs to be systematic and comprehensive, said Khoi Nguyen, group product manager for the mobile security group at Symantec. Crucial elements are general device and application management; security features to ensure policies are in place, enforced and up-to-date; and alerting and reporting on unauthorized access.
Whatever the details, the overall process needs a policy that recognizes smartphones need equal treatment because they’ve become equally important with other IT assets.
More companies are formulating written mobile policies and requiring employees to read, understand and sign them before they have access to e-mail and other data from their device.



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