Mobile devices have infiltrated the workplace — not to outright replace desktop computers but to add diversity with which revenue can be obtained in different ways. There are some brands of mobile devices that are allegedly "better" than other brands, but the reality is that "better" depends on the specific needs and budget of the prospective buyer — if mobile devices are needed for merely communicating with others in the workplace via phone conversations, texting, and E-mail, then why purchase relatively expensive devices for that task — the inexpensive Androidphone could easily accomplish the task! Other buyers might have more application-intensive needs that Android phones might not be able to accommodate — Apple or Windows mobile devices may then be more appropriate. When it's decided which type of mobile device is best suited for the needs of the business, the next phase is management planning.
Mobile Device Management
MDM, or, mobile device management is a term used in the computing industry that tailors to the general manager of mobile devices. Some of the common policies put into place within the MDM infrastructure are balancing security with usability. Generally, MDM is a concept that unifies the management of mobile devices used for the transmission, storage, and processing of data — below, some of the fine points of security and usability are discussed.
Whether using desktop computers, mobile devices, or any other type of digital device, a reliable security policy needs to be put in place. Security encompasses physical security, security against malware and hackers, and data preservation. Physical security in its most basic sense is making sure there's a policy in place to safeguard against burglars and anyone attempting to physically access computers — or rooms or desks where computers are stored. Locks put on appropriate doors and desks, and various other types of physical security devices such as security cameras are all relatively inexpensive and generally feasible options — much of which don't require hired help to install. Several tutorials exist on the internet that can provide direction for initiating the installation of physical security systems. Malicious software and computers hackers can be a tricky vector to guard against. Computer hackers can take advantage of both physical security weaknesses and security "holes" in computers themselves. Computers are designed to be an extension of the way people think, therefore a little common sense can go a long way in protecting against this vector — if something doesn't seem safe or foul play is suspected, it's better to steer clear of whatever is going on — one wrong click on a website or E-mail attachment can cause inadvertent installation of malicious software which computer hackers use indirectly to hack into computers. This is only scratching the surface of the varieties in which computer hackers can attack. Data Preservation is a concept that encompasses computer data being backed up on a regular schedule — and the ability to restore it in case of deletion. It should be kept in mind that data loss can occur through a variety of ways, so it's important to make sure a sound policy is in place to both backup and restore data — natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and computer hackers can all lead to data loss.
Security should be balanced with usability. In other words, mobile devices should be reasonably secured — not so much that one has to bend over backward in order to log into their device and make general use of it — excessively securing devices can be counterproductive. There are some trends that could make mobile device usability a little easier, one of which is the concept of BYOD — bring your own device — a BYOD policy would allow employees to bring privately owned mobile devices into the workplace providing that the devices are capable of complying with the security policies of the business allowing them. Allowing privately owned devices could lower the learning curve for using the devices on the job.
Managing mobile devices in any business infrastructure does not have to be a painstaking task, but great caution should be taken and it's generally recommended to seek professional advice in both rolling them out and managing them. White Mountain IT provides a wide range of services pertaining to mobile devices. Please contact us.