MDM to create new security challenges for commercial consumers

MDM to create new security challenges for commercial consumers

The prevailing movement of the bring your own device (BYOD) strategy, which is currently taking hold of many workplaces across the world of business, has arguably driven a consumerism of information technology that has changed the way in which employees interact with applications and information.

Offices are becoming increasingly mobile due to the rising popularity of smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.

Such a change in approach has brought up a number of new concerns that companies need to take into account in terms of security.

BYOD is commonplace among small and midsize businesses (SMBs). According to a survey from Spiceworks, 61 per cent of SMBs have embraced the idea.

Yet worryingly, only 16 per cent of the companies to have implemented BYOD have an effective mobile device management (MDM) strategy in place, leaving their systems open to security breaches or malware infections.

The reason for SMBs being reluctant to put a MDM solution in place could be due to the fact that many find that such systems are too complex.

AccessData manager for the Middle East, India and Africa, Paul Wright, said in an article for itp.net: "For some organisations, such as universities, the array of user devices may be unlimited and therefore their grasp on securing data may be tenuous for quite some time.

"Other organisations will be in a better position to leverage policy to control the acceptable devices allowed and to ensure they have the ability to investigate these devices as needed."

Mr Wright added that authentication and policy were therefore vital in order for companies to implement a successful BYOD strategy.

He stressed that authentication would ensure that the right individuals and devices are granted access to the resources that are relevant to them, while policy would offer a clear and rigid definition of what is allowed from a user's perspective. This could include an employer establishing that they have the right to investigate work devices used by employees, as well as give definitive instructions as to what security applications need to be installed.