With all of the personal mobile devices on the market today, it makes perfect sense that Mobile Device Management strategies needed to be developed. These days, companies are providing their employees with personal devices; just as they may have included a company car with a particular position, or in other cases, companies are letting employees use their own personal devices for work. Regardless of the mobile device policy a business is going to implement, they must have a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution to ensure security. Whether an employee is bringing a personal device to work or bringing a work phone home, vital information is being transferred at an unprecedented pace daily – potentially leaving businesses vulnerable.
With all of the recent hype around Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), businesses need to explore their other options and find what policy is the right fit for their organization.
So, what mobile policies are there?
BYOD — Bring Your Own Device
BYOD involves companies and organizations enabling employees to bring their personally owned devices to the work place. Employees are allowed to use these devices for work, giving them access to company data and information on the same devices that they use for their personal life. This access can occur via a smart phone, laptop, tablet or PC. BYOD, as of recent, has become one of the most common mobile device policies that businesses are implementing. If you have a personal device that you use to check your company email, then you are participating in a “Bring-Your-Own-Device” policy.
Unfortunately, with these devices being accessed from outside the work place, this leaves the possibility of sensitive company data being compromised. With a BYOD policy, the need for a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution is essential to protecting companies against security threats. As well, BYOD may actually result in higher enterprise costs for mobile services.
CYOD — Choose Your Own Device
CYOD, which is essentially a narrower version of BYOD, allows employees to choose from a list of approved company devices, which usually have already been approved and secured by an IT staff. Not only does this open the door for many of the same benefits in productivity that BYOD offers, it can also be a far easier policy to administer and manage. Essentially this type of policy is the best of both worlds; employees still have the choice of using their personally owned device for work, while management can stay one step ahead by approving certain devices they have already secured or, supported by their MDM solution.
The downside of CYOD is that the list of approved devices can be difficult for managers and IT staff to agree upon, as well as finding a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that supports a wide range of platforms (due to the high number of devices available on the market today). As well, in order to maintain a high-level of security, the list will require constant updating.
CLEO — Corporate Liable Employee Owned
CLEO involves the same access as BYOD, but with different ownership and liability. Unlike BYOD, where the employee is responsible both for the device and for paying the rate plan and incurred charges, CLEO means the employee owns the device they use and the company they work for pays for the bill and any additional features included.
An obvious disadvantage to this method is the fact that employees can quickly get out of control with racking-up costs or downloading apps, given that they don’t have to pay for them. Again, having a MDM solution in place can eliminate many of these issues, by putting limits on usage or managing applications.
COPE — Corporate Owned Personally Enabled
Finally, the COPE method is the opposite of a BYOD policy. With COPE, employees are supplied with a device and necessary applications from their company, and the company is the entity that owns them. This is a terrific strategy for companies who want to have a broader range of control over device security. With COPE, businesses can ensure that all employee devices are secure and supported by their MDM solution. In addition, they can protect sensitive company data from a technical and legal standpoint. With a COPE policy, businesses can also take advantage of volume discounts on device purchases.
COPE has its disadvantages as well; this strategy has raised a debate about employee privacy, given that the company has complete control over the device. Employees may not feel comfortable using a phone that is owned by their employer and constantly monitored.
For every company there is mobile policy that will work best, and with every different policy there is a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that will work hand in hand to ensure security. It is important to explore your options.
What mobile device policy should your business use? Get in touch with us, and let’s work together to find the right fit for you.