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In business, much time and resources go into trying to figure out the conundrum that is employee’s mobile devices. Issuing corporate devices is expensive, especially if they are lost, stolen, receive damage, or are in need of replacement. Taking a hands-off approach and letting employees handle corporate data on their own devices creates a security risk. The trick has been finding the perfect middle ground between these two approaches—and mobile application management may be exactly the way.
In the early days of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, mobile device management was all the rage. This meant that employees could use their own device, but they would have to hand it over to IT to install device-level safeguards. This is an issue: if a device is lost or stolen, IT performs a remote wipe. There goes anything that could potentially be a leak along with an employee’s contacts, texts and anything else that wasn’t a backup on the cloud.
Today, the key to successful BYOD and CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) policies is employing application-level management. Mobile application management solutions eschew controlling the entire device in favor of simply controlling which applications have access to corporate information. This also means driving home the point that work-related communications be used with certain applications.
By creating an ecosystem of secure custom applications and trusted third-party applications, your CIO or CISO mitigates the flaws of previous strategies. For example, you can simply revoke a device’s access to specified apps in the event that it becomes lost. Now, if the device is found, they will have lost nothing as nothing sensitive could have been accessible.
It also means allowing tiered access to applications and information. It would be incredibly easy and straightforward to restrict employees from any data that they don’t have specific authorization to. In larger companies that compartmentalize information to mitigate leaks, this kind of access tier is a must. It becomes simple when you have control over which users can use which apps in which ways.
By implementing a mobile application management strategy with a CYOD policy, you can also ensure a basic level of compatibility. For instance, you can limit the OS choices from four to just the major two, Android and iOS. You’ll also maintain a level of employee satisfaction by presenting them a choice of device. At the same time this ensures your MAM system is set up on the device before they ever turn it on.