BYOD and MDM increasing security measures

BYOD and MDM increasing security measures

The rapid rise of the smartphone and tablet in recent years has meant that the devices are becoming increasingly popular with professionals who choose to make use of their features to work on the move and while away from the office.

Such an increase in the proliferation of devices has meant that the bring your own device (BYOD) trend has really come into its own. Both businesses and employees have welcomed the productivity and efficiency benefits using personal smartphones and tablets can bring.

However, BYOD can come with problems as it allows workers to log into their emails and corporate documents, which may be sensitive, on the move and through devices that were not initially under the control of the organisation.

But this is changing as the mobile device management (MDM) industry is bringing about a raft of changes through software tools that allow firms to monitor, control and act when mobile phones or tablets are lost or stolen, with the ability to remotely wipe data at the click of a button.

The tools can also help with expense management and control the amount of data being used by workers, which can help to cut back on costs and reduce the likelihood of bill shock for the organisation.

Despite these other great features, it is security that has seen the most improvement since the BYOD trend took off, bringing about greater awareness of MDM.

That is according to Andrew Mamontis, managing director of Kaspersky Labs Australia and New Zealand, who told ARN that the two aspects have driven security growth with the mobility space.

He explained that BYOD and MDM have been something of a headache for IT managers in the past few years, but the wave of expectation from professionals eventually led to a point where firms needed to allow third-party devices to be used by workers, as individuals were beginning to do so anyway, sometimes without the permission of the company, which is obviously a lot more dangerous than knowing exactly who is logging on to potentially sensitive documents at home.

"It's a matter of how you manage and secure those devices. When you have a CEO and management bringing their devices in, you can't stop them from doing so," he said. The rise in the BYOD trend did give rise to more malware attacks, but this has encouraged an increased focus on security within the business world.

"It's come to the stage where we are struggling to keep up with the number of malware coming in. Out of these threats, malicious programs specifically targeting mobiles is more than 35,000 and growing fast – and the number one target is through applications," Mr Mamontis said, before noting that these alarming figures indicate the need for advancing mobile security measures.

The importance of MDM tools is only set to grow in the coming years as more and more employees start using personal smartphones and tablets for work-related purposes and it is important that companies start looking into the software so they can keep ahead of the game.