Mitigating the risks of BYOD with mobile application management

By Anil Chakravarthy, senior vice president, Enterprise Security Group, Symantec, Network World |  Mobile & Wireless, BYOD

* Securing corporate resources once they are delivered: Finally, how will the corporate apps, including email access (and especially the potentially sensitive data tied to them), remain secured once they are on user-owned mobile devices and what will happen to them when employees leave the company? This is really the million-dollar question.

In reality, providing access to business-related apps and corporate resources to user-owned devices is only the first part of the equation, and is in fact not the most critical part when it comes down to steering around the hazards of BYOD. The real issue is maintaining the security of those resources and data while not hindering users' experience with their personal devices.

Again, this takes us back to the first consideration -- how involved a company wants to be in managing user-owned devices. If user-owned devices are fully managed by an enterprise, the apps and resources can be made secure, but all the issues associated with the complete management of user-owned devices are brought to the surface.

TECH DEBATE: Mobile security: In the device or in the network?

With these considerations in mind, it should be noted that the most common tool used to implement secure BYOD up to this point has been mobile device management, or MDM, technology. MDM certainly has its place in enterprise mobility. In fact, it is an essential part of a complete enterprise mobility strategy.

MDM is technically a viable method to both deliver applications to user-owned devices and secure the corporate apps and data on them. For example, many MDM solutions feature corporate app store functionality. They also provide the ability to push applications to managed devices. In addition, MDM solutions allow enterprises to enforce security controls on properly prepared corporate-connected user-owned devices. Thus, MDM does address considerations two and three above.

However, using MDM to address these BYOD considerations means enterprises are forced to fully manage user-owned devices because, simply put, that is what the technology does. Thus, all of the concerns and issues associated with complete enterprise management of user-owned devices are fully set in motion.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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