Smartphones are so integrated into our daily lives that it’s little wonder that they’ve become such an integral part of our business dealings. About half of all American cell phone users own smartphones, and many use them for business purposes. While many companies do allow users to bring their own devices to work, implementing BYOD policies, there are a surprising number that don’t make any attempt to regulate the security of those devices.
It is estimated that by 2015, over half of smartphones used for business will be owned by employees, a statistic that wouldn’t be alarming if it weren’t for another figure: nearly half of all companies allowing BYOD have experienced security breaches because of their policies.
The Argument for BYOD
Allowing employees to use their own devices for work purposes benefits both the company and its employees. Use of BYOD policies can lead to greater productivity, less paperwork, more accuracy in billing and record keeping, added visibility, and a more streamlined workflow, all of which are desirable to businesses. From the employees’ perspectives, there is a certain attraction to being able to choose your own type of device. Though many opt for iPhones and others for Blackberrys, Android devices dominate the BYOD landscape. Perhaps because of Android’s affiliation with Google or because of the variety of devices available, most businesses find themselves mainly seeking to manage Android devices.
Implementing Android Management Systems
The point of Android device management systems is to protect company data. When using Android in the enterprise, businesses are well advised to set up an Android security model that combines agreed upon policies with Android management software. Policies often include agreements that employees will lock and password protect their devices and that they will clear any sensitive downloads regularly. Many businesses also require employees to immediately report any lost or stolen device. Android management software, on the other hand, is installed onto employee devices where it can help IT departments gain insight into employee devices, push updates automatically, and set restrictions. Some Android management software also encrypts sensitive corporate data when it is sent from a device. A main feature of most Android management software allows IT departments to wipe or lock devices remotely in the event that one is lost or stolen.
As personal devices become more and more prevalent in the workplace, use of BYOD management systems should, theoretically, increase. Unfortunately, however, many companies choose to tempt fate by neglecting to set up policies. Such actions will hopefully become more and more rare as the years go by and as BYOD policies become more integrated into the average workplace.