Take The Guesswork Out of Your Mobile Network

Take the guesswork out of your mobile network

Depending on your organization, BYOD means a lot of different things. BYOD can be a welcome change (employee retention, talent acquisition, employee satisfaction, productivity enhancement, lower IT costs, and potentially customer satisfaction) or a challenge (security, access/restriction of data, lost devices, etc).

Regardless, the first step is knowing the who’s, what’s and where’s of your network. The Softchoice Mobility TechCheck gives you visibility into how many devices and what kind of devices are already on your network.

With this data, companies can start to develop a plan around BYOD, such as:

  • Should companies provide freedom of choice or restrict choice to specific devices/operating systems
  • Should companies provide a stipend for the device or service
  • What does an acceptable use document look like in a BYOD world
  • What data/applications should a company allow access to …where …when …to whom

I’m holding a special mobile security webinar in December to answer your questions – read on for full details on this and our assessment.

[Read more…]

Surviving BYOA: Our Top 3 Apps for Work

While BYOD (bring-your-own-device) seems to be a major concern of IT administrators today, BYOA – or bring-your-own-application – is becoming increasingly as significant. Using third-party applications and cloud services in the workplace brings about a host of control, security and productivity considerations. And just like BYOD, BYOA is real. According to a recent Fortinet study of over 3,800 active employees in their twenties, 69 percent indicated that they were interested in creating and using their own applications, while 30 percent admitted they would likely contravene any restrictive company policies.

In this next BYOD Behind the Scenes expedition, I took a look at industry trends and conducted a poll of Softchoice employees to compile our top 3 applications to bring to work! Share this list to with your users and ensure they’re getting the most out of their chosen devices and can make the safest, most productive decisions for your company.

[Read more…]

Behind the Scenes: Building a great BYOC Team

This is the second in a series about how Softchoice implemented BYOC. We hope you find the series interesting and look forward to your comments and thoughts on your experiences.

Building the team: You start with inviting a great marketing person to the team.

OK, most BYOC teams don’t have someone like me blogging about the process, and providing my “2 cents” based on things that I’ve read from marketing materials. But, having a marketing person does have its benefits, since there’s a lot of employee communications that require good writing skills. Plus, I have access to marketing survey tools, which is handy for our employee survey.

So other than me, who else is on the Softchoice BYOC team?

[Read more…]

Pure-Play vs.Platform MDM: Which Is The Best Fit For Your Company?

With the unabated growth of consumerization, Gartner Research recently stated that “mobile device management (MDM) is essential for IT success”. However, with so many options – which is best? There are several new companies in this space offering great solutions. Security vendors are expanding their offerings and you have major platform or systems management vendors adding ways to manage a variety of mobile devices.

Our own Director of Security Solutions Stephen Perciballi and Manager of Microsoft Solutions Architecture Tim McKellips recently sat down with the Softchoice Advisor to discuss the challenges and implications involved with managing this environment.

Softchoice Advisor: What is your overall opinion on pure-play versus platform mobile device management?

[Read more…]

Free Guide: How to Build a Mobile Device Use Policy

Managing the risks of a mobile security tsunami – why a personal mobile device acceptable use policy for your organization matters.

Personal smartphones, laptops, tablets, e-readers, netbooks, gaming devices – it’s a whole new mobile wild west out there. At first, organizations and their IT teams, understandably fearful of the risks to the integrity of private information and business data, were resistant to giving employees’ personal devices access to the organization’s business network. But increasingly, they’re having a change of heart.

Why? For starters, with employees logging on to answer emails, review contracts and marketing materials or simply catching up on a mountain of work anytime of day or night, offering them the freedom to use the same devices at work, on the road and at home means increased accessibility and productivity with a device each of those employees is already familiar with.

Equally important, mobile device management has improved by leaps and bounds to the point where now a single interface can be used to manage devices whether they’re on a BlackBerry platform, Apple iOS or Google Android. That’s gone a long way to mitigating resistance from IT departments fearful of security tsunamis.

[Read more…]

Choosing An MDM Solution

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

Right now there are several types of Mobile Device Management solutions.  They all have their place when you consider security and total cost of ownership.  Some of them are going to be much more secure giving more piece of mind.  Others are going to integrate into or leverage existing systems giving you piece of mind that you are not standing up an entirely new environment that also needs to be managed and secured.

We will be focused on MDM solutions that manage Android, Apple iOS, and Windows Mobile.  Blackberry is very well known for having one of the most secure solutions already.  Until a few years ago they were pretty much the only game in town when it came to phones carrying sensitive data so I’m sure they have been under heavy attack.  Very few issues have been published about the Blackberry solution and it’s not because it wasn’t a target.

Generally every solution out there is going to allow you to push email, calendar, contacts.  You will also be able to configure other features on the device such as wifi and VPN profiles.  From a security perspective you are able to force passwords on and enforce complexity.  Finally you can wipe out the work email, calendar, and contacts that you push along with any other settings like VPN and wifi.  Or you could decide to simply wipe the entire device.  These are the main benefits of having an MDM.  Without these abilities I.T. is going to be tasked with managing and supporting all of these devices which would be extremely time consuming.

 

Regardless of which solution you choose there is still some inherent risk today unless you use this solution in conjunction with something else.

1.   Containers
 
This is the first type of MDM solution that made it’s way into corporate environments.  In a container system an application typically found on either iTunes or Google Play is installed on the device by the user. When they sign into the app with their corporate email address and password the app finds the MDM server and synchronizes policies.  Once synchronized email, calendar, and contacts are synchronized to the device.  The stand out feature here is that these services are synchronized to the app that they downloaded.   [Read more…]