A few weeks ago we brought you some tips to boost security on your iPhone. In doing so, we acknowledged a growing trend toward “the consumerization of IT”— the use of personal devices, especially those once thought of as consumer products, in a business environment. Along with iPhones, Android devices are flooding into businesses small and large, and IT administrators are being asked to support a “bring your own device” policy.
For those in charge of IT, security and device management are critical concerns. As Android has boosted its profile in business, it has also been closing the gap with its competitors in terms of the security and management features it offers. Some of these are native to the operating system, such as device lock, password protection and data encryption. Others must be provided through third-party apps and solutions. The result is that businesses are letting their employees use the device of their choice without feeling that they are putting their data and systems at risk.
If you’re considering supporting Android devices in your business (or if you’ve already embraced them), there are some steps you should take to play it safe. We provide a few key suggestions here and link you to some additional resources.
1. Stop ‘just saying no’ to personal devices. Chances are someone you work with is already using one. The last thing you want is a rogue experience at your company. An informed IT department is the best way to ensure your business is secure. Seek reliable advice on how to manage personal devices at work.
2. Use Google apps to manage Android security policies. Google Apps Device Policy Administration can help you enforce security policies such as locking idle devices, setting password requirements and wiping lost or stolen devices.
3. Adopt mobile device management (MDM). These solutions enable businesses to monitor, manage and support Android and other devices, usually through a centralized console that enables remote access and updates. There are many MDM products on the market, including Juniper, MobileIron and Trellia. Do your research, and look for an integrated solution instead of many different tools.
Want to learn more?
- Watch the Android security webinar Rogers hosted last year.
- Check out Android and MDM tips in our mobile security e-book.
- Watch a video interview with mobile industry expert Anthony Bartolo of Samsung about Android and how to secure and control business data and networks.
Are you using Android for business? What security features have you implemented?
Geoffrey is a regular contributor to RedBoard Biz