Little known ways of managing mobile devices to prevent data loss

This article originally appeared on Stephen’s personal blog. You can visit it here. 

Most people feel naked without their smart phones and tablets. The adoption rates of these devices over the last five years have been explosive with an expected 10 billion by 2020, according to Morgan Stanley  (to give you an idea of the magnitude – PCs and notebooks are at about 1 billion today.) Morgan Stanley also predicts that 95% of devices purchased for business will be by employees. This means that there will soon be a diverse selection of mobile devices in the office (for example right now Softchoice’s Employee Choice model has brought hundreds of iPhones into our environment.) How is IT going to cope with this?

Device heterogeneity is a serious issue.  Similar versions of Apple’s IOS Operating System run on iPod, iPhone, and iPad devices. Android has been modified by several vendors including Samsung, HTC, and Motorola. HP recently introduced new versions of WebOS that run the Palm Pre3 and TouchPad.  RIM has also introduced the Playbook that works with Blackberry devices. Is your head spinning yet?

All of this heterogenity has left network administrators confused about how to apply one of the most fundamental principles to these devices: centralized management. Lack of centralized control and updating is an architecture built for an individual, not an enterprise. Centralized management of mobile devices is crucial as part of a Data Loss Prevention program because of they are easily lost, stolen, (and likely soon to be) compromised. 

Here are seven little known ways to implement a Mobile Device Management solution: [Read more…]