The advent of enterprise mobility has brought an increase in the adoption of the BYOD approach by organizations of all sizes. Bring Your Own Devices, as the name suggests, is the policy that allows employees to use their personal devices for business tasks. It serves several key benefits to businesses, from enhancing productivity to empowering the employees with mobility, cutting costs, and more. However, there is always the other side of the picture. BYOD is associated with big security risks that make it challenging to derive its benefits without apprehensions.
A secure and successful BYOD deployment requires much more than simply implementing some policies and letting the employees bring their own devices. There is much that companies need to do to make things foolproof when it comes to the use of these devices for accessing corporate data and applications. Mobile Device Management (MDM) is one of the essentials that ensure the success of BYOD deployments. In fact, it can be regarded as the backbone of BYOD- something that the system cannot survive without.
What is MDM all about?
To start with, it is valuable to understand what MDM solutions do for a business. They are responsible for detecting mobile devices that attempt to access the corporate network. Further, they also manage and control the data, applications, and configurations of these devices. Whether there are a few dozen personal devices in the corporate mobile ecosystem or thousands of them, MDM manages them all, right from their onboarding through their life span on the system and offboarding. So the business has a constant track of the devices and everything they access from the business network, at all points in time. Let us now explain how MDM serves as the backbone of BYOD.
As explained, MDM goes a long way in providing control over every employee-owned device that is a part of the corporate ecosystem. One of the biggest challenges that IT departments face with BYOD, particularly in large organizations with big workforces, is a loss of control. Also, different device configurations and settings affect security and availability. A mobile device management solution enforces configuration and setting standards across all connected devices. So enterprises proceed with BYOD deployments without worrying about the complexities of configurations and settings.
With BYOD, there is always a risk of data loss from lost or stolen devices. As employees have access to business data or even store it on their personal devices, there is a danger to data confidentiality should these personal devices be lost or stolen. A solution that enables effective mobile device management for everyone has this risk covered because these solutions come with a remote wipe capability. As soon as loss or theft of a device is reported, administrators can wipe all corporate data from it.
Prevention of unauthorized access
MDM solutions also enable the segregation of corporate and personal data and applications on employee devices. This can alleviate concerns about unauthorized access to the confidential corporate data. When employees download random apps on their mobile devices, they often end up granting access to company data and settings as well. Separating the corporate and personal areas on devices can address this problem too. With this, the employees enjoy the freedom to use their devices as they want yet the company has tight control over the applications and data they own.
Balancing productivity and security
Typically, BYOD is a balancing act. Although it makes the employees more productive with the comfort and familiarity coming with the use of their own devices, there is a security risk involved. Organizations have to go the extra mile with the protection of data as they give employees instant access to the information they require anytime and anywhere. The question here is about achieving a balance between user enablement and security. MDM solutions resolve the concern with features like data encryption, authentication tools, and the remote lock or wipe ability. So businesses can avail the advantage of productivity without suffering on the security front.
Clearly, MDM solutions do not remain a choice for organizations that have a BYOD policy in place. The two have to coexist if you want to achieve the best in terms of freedom, flexibility, and productivity that the use of employee devices drives. Even if you need to spend on MDM, it is more like a worthwhile investment that has the potential for delivering security and confidence over the years. So if you have BYOD, go ahead and invest in a mobile device management solution you can rely on.