The return to work this week following the Christmas and New Year break certainly has been a shock to the system. No more lie-ins, no more obscene amounts of food and no more mid-morning glasses of champagne while opening presents. It’s a shame, but life goes on.
But while many workers will be returning to work with classic withdrawal symptoms, spare a thought for IT managers, who face all this as well as the added headache of having to deal with countless new gadgets being plugged into the corporate network.
With millions of smartphones, laptops, tablets and e-readers handed out over Christmas, many workers will be keen to show off their new toys as soon as they get back into the office. But how many will be thinking for the security aspect? It’s safe to assume that not many will.
It’s also safe to assume that many will want to get access to their work email and files on their new smartphone or tablet. In fact, according to UC firm Mitel 67% of workers use at least one of their own devices for work purposes.
This will no doubt place added pressure on the IT department to get these devices connected. It can be difficult to say no, especially if the request comes from the CEO.
What can companies do to tackle this particular headache?
Mobile device management company Zenprise has laid out its hints and tips to help businesses remain secure during this Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work rush.
Ahmed Datoo, CMO for Zenprise, sums up the challenge: "The ability to do more work on a mobile device, whether it is a smartphone or tablet, is a great benefit for both employees and companies. Using one mobile device for both work and personal business can open the door for great productivity improvements if the device is appropriately managed and secured."
Zenprise lists six steps to BYOD happiness:
- Discover rogue devices
- Define and communicate the company mobile strategy, including which users, devices that will be supported, and which applications will be mobilised
- Get all mobile devices under management
- Set configuration and security policies in a role- and policy- based manner, according to corporate and regulatory policies and security use cases
- Monitor for mobile threats, potential data leakage and compliance violations
- Identify sensitive corporate data and lock it down with mobile DLP policies and controls.
It was recently revealed that 1.33 million e-readers were given as gifts this Christmas, 92% of them Amazon Kindles. The YouGov survey also revealed that 640,000 tablets were sold over the Yuletide period, 72% of those being Apple iPads.
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