IT managers need to Keep Calm and Secure their mobile devices

Keep Calm and Secure
It seems that you can't read a technology article these days without someone writing that the smartphones of 2015 have more computing power than was used to deliver the Apollo 11 space program. It's apocryphal but almost certainly true. And nowhere are we feeling the benefits of this massive increase in speed and latency than in the provision of enterprise mobility solutions.

It's incredible to think that something possessing a quad-core processor with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage would have been the spec of a reasonable laptop or PC a few years ago. But today, these credentials refer to a Smartphone running an operating system built primarily with consumers in mind, and a 5" screen that sits neatly in your pocket.

However, increased performance and storage capacity in such a small form also creates substantial risks for businesses.

By design mobile devices are permanently connected to public networks. They don't have the 'luxury' of residing in a secure private network protected by firewalls and threat management systems, with on-premise servers pushing out security patches and updates. Mobile devices live in a big bad world and need to be taken care of with some tender loving care and also some "tough love".

Interestingly though in 2013 the Coalition government set out a plan and issued a tender to move all the voice and data communications of the Emergency Services off a private closed network and onto the ever widening public 4g network. The transfer is still going ahead as planned so that is an endorsement of current mobile security protocols if there ever was!

With infectious, security breaching and data corrupting dangers literally floating through the air choosing the right Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that will extend across all major device platforms should be an absolute necessity. Throw in human error and a potential dose of malignant employee behaviour and you have a perfect storm of mobile device integrity nightmares.

But before you switch off your phone and shut down your broadband Olive can help IT managers stay right on top of their Mobile Device Management.

They just need to follow this simple Olive checklist:

  • Ensure devices are at the right operating system software level and not 'Jailbroken' or 'Rooted'
  • Apply the relevant secure passcodes to devices
  • Enforce device encryption to protect data on devices
  • Retain the ability to wipe data from devices if lost or stolen
  • Restrict access to corporate resources when devices become non-compliant
  • Remove corporate data and apps from employee owned devices if they leave (essential for BYOD)
  • Keep corporate email and attachments in a secure ‘workplace' on the device, away from personal data
  • Establish visibility of all devices connecting to your systems through a single console
  • Publish business applications to devices
  • Audit devices for installed software
  • Configure corporate email, Wi-Fi and VPN settings on devices
  • Lock devices in 'Kiosk' mode for when they perform a specific task
  • Create application whitelists and blacklists to prevent staff from using consumer-grade apps to access and share corporate data
  • Receive alerts when devices become non-compliant
  • Monitor mobile data usage on devices and create threshold alerts
  • Ability to notify administrators when device connects to roaming networks.
  • Maintain visibility of all mobile devices connecting to Microsoft Exchange (through Cloud Extender)
Once IT managers have run through this checklist, and established a base level of understanding, we then work with them to help them implement the right MDM solution for their business. Mobile Device Management is not a "dark art"; it needs to be powerful, scalable and is an absolute business necessity. You lock the doors of your office so why not the "doors" to your mobile devices?

About Olive Communications
Olive is the UK's fastest growing business communications provider and consultancy, operating across the four cornerstones of IT infrastructure: voice, data, mobility, and applications.

One of the Sunday Times' Hiscox Tech Track 100, Olive provides innovative and integrated communications solutions for some the UK's best-known businesses including, Swiss Re's Admin Re, Mace and National Geographic.
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