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Proof positive that a trend is here to stay: It gets its own acronym. You won't find too many offices today in which employees aren't waltzing in the door with their own devices—sometimes more than one. The bring your own device, or BYOD, movement is so pervasive that companies have no choice but to figure out how to make it all work, how to connect their employees' personal smartphones and tablets to the corporate network while safeguarding sensitive corporate data at the same time.
Mobility-savvy solution providers have never had more doors wide open.
Defining use policies is the first of many security-related services required of solution providers in the mobility space. Mobile device management (MDM) platforms, or software offerings designed to monitor the use of mobile devices on corporate networks, are often needed to ensure the policies put in place are actually being followed, said Bob Wambaugh, director of professional services at Fremont, Calif.-based solution provider Milestone Technologies.
"I think you have to have policies for how [devices] integrate, how they work in your environment, what rules there are for bringing them onto the network. The problem I have is when customers decide that policies are the end of the problem," Wambaugh told CRN. "I tend to believe that policies are a lot like door locks. They only keep the honest people out."
Milestone Technologies is a big advocate of MDM solutions, such as those offered by Absolute Software, MobileIron and Centrify, as they allow clients to not only more closely monitor and locate mobile devices, but access them remotely when needed, he said. Put simply, MDM returns some of the device-level control to the hands of IT, even in the most complex BYOD scenarios.