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6 Proven Practices for Mobile Device Management

Published on May 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm in Tips & Tricks.

mobile device management (Photo: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Smartphones and tablets are everywhere. They are our tethers to the rest of the world. It seems like everywhere you look in Nashville, people are face down in their phones.

It’s not just on the street. Mobile devices have entered the workplace. The “bring your own device” phenomenon (BYOD) is alive and kicking in Middle Tennessee. In fact, running small and medium-sized businesses from mobile devices is the new norm for many, according to Manta’s Small Business Wellness Index. The report identified that 81% of small business owners use their devices daily.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][wproto_quote text=”Mobile technology is part of your business, whether your business is prepared for it or not.”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]That’s why mobile device management (MDM) is key. Your company needs to be able to control your data on any device – whether it’s company-owned or personal – so that you know that information is secure.

Here are the best practices to ensure your business is managing mobile devices effectively:

1. Start with an audit.

Your mobile device management solution should be tailored to your company. Conduct an audit of your organization’s active mobile devices, how they are used, what data is being stored, how data is transferred and which security functions are needed or desired. It’s worth noting that Concept Technology’s ConceptCloud Mobile Management service includes all these elements. It also tracks existing policies, regulatory environment, tiers of support, and more.

mobile device management (business devices)2. Determine security functions. 

Will you outline how passwords should be created (e.g. length, complexity, etc.)? What level of encryption do you want to include and is it the same for all devices? When you wipe the phone, will it eliminate all data or company-owned data only? Who will be enabled with mobile access? Once you determine the criteria, your mobile management solution can be set up to automate them as rules. And it can automate other things, such as installing anti-malware software or other company-purchased apps on the device. Depending on your MDM solution, it can also encompass remote wiping, GPS tracking, VPN integration, internet filtering, backups and more.

3. Outline your mobile device policy.

Once you determine how you’ll handle data on mobile devices, it needs to be documented and signed off on by employees. If you decide staff can only use company-owned devices for work, you’ll need to make sure they have all the hardware and software required to do their jobs. If employees have been using personal devices for work and you decide that is no longer acceptable, you need to have a procedure and timeline in place to make a switch without losing data and upsetting your team.

If you’re okay with employees using personal devices, your policy should define parameters for what apps can access company data (and if you will provide those apps), when the device could be remotely wiped by the company, what wireless networks can be accessed and more. It should also cover the transition from using personal devices before the policy to using them under the new policy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]mobile device management (Foto: Jefferson Rudy/Agência Senado)

4. Understand legal and HR implications.

If you set up your mobile device management service to remotely wipe a personal phone for any reason, and you delete more data than was specified, your company could be liable for the personal loss. For example, if you were only to wipe the company-owned email data, but you also deleted personal photos, that employee may decide to sue you.

Additionally, if you set up a BYOD policy that seems to encourage non-salaried employees to check email and conduct other work-related tasks outside of office hours, they could say that your company is asking for more than their job allows.

You also want to make sure that your new mobile management policy doesn’t contradict any existing policy. For instance, the prior policy might state that you won’t track employees’ movements, but your MDM now includes GPS tracking.

Obviously, we don’t want any bad to come out of doing something good. So, before any mobile device policy is officially put in place, talk it through with your executive team, human relations department and attorneys.

5. Educate your company on its mobile device management solution.

Once everything has been outlined and the system is set up according to your requirements, it’s time to roll it out. Give your employees detailed communication and training on how your MDM system and mobile device policy work. Make sure everyone understands that certain criteria must be met for them to use personal devices to access company resources. Help your team members understand the value of company data, why it should be protected and how they can help to do that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][wproto_quote text=”Depending on the size of your company, you may not want to immediately put everyone on your new solution at one time. It is beneficial to start with a small group so you can address any concerns that arise.”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Also, get each employee to sign your agreement before you put the new MDM policy in place.

6. Track your procedures to make sure they are maintained.

Your MDM solution should include regular security audits so your mobile devices and company data stay safe. That may involve bringing in a third-party. With our ConceptCloud Mobile Management, we not only provide ongoing monitoring and management, we also can provide on-demand, up-to-the-minute reporting on your devices.

Most likely, employees are using mobile devices in your business right now. Are you aware of it? Are you in control of it? Mobile device management doesn’t have to be a huge drain on your company if done correctly and by experts. That’s where an IT company like Concept Technology can help. We make that stuff simple so you can focus on running your business.

MDM’s benefits can be significant. Not only will it streamline how your data is handled, it will severely mitigate risk. The use of mobile devices has increased, and so has related cybercriminal activity. According to Norton Report, 38% of smartphone users have been victims of cybercrime and 27% have lost or had their mobile device stolen. In 2013, cybercrime from smartphones was north of $113 billion. Yikes.

To learn more about mobile device management, call 615.321.6428. And breathe a bit easier knowing your company’s data is locked up tight – even if it’s mobile.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][wproto_image image=”10951″ image_size=”500×91″ link_type=”custom” custom_link=”” image_align=”aligncenter”][/vc_column][/vc_row]