The world is becoming more and more mobile, not just as a means of standard communication, but also to conduct and manage business matters. Now more than ever, business happens on the go, and employers face increasing demand from employees who want to use their existing personal devices as an extension of their business tools. In regulated and litigious industries where compliance is of the utmost importance, many organizations have turned to Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to help bridge the gap between the organization and their employees to ensure requirements are met.
MDM is a security software used by IT departments to monitor, manage, and secure any corporate– or employee-owned mobile devices that access business networks. The software is deployed across multiple carriers, plans, and operating systems.
Organizations that use MDM software can ensure mobile devices are being used in a way that meets company policies. Certain features, such as downloading apps, text messaging, and email can be turned on or off, security settings can be changed, and app usage can be strictly controlled with certain MDM software.
Essentially, an MDM solution can enable employees to use the smartphones that they want to use by forcing the device to abide by certain rules. This doesn’t just apply to software installed across corporate-owned devices either; several MDM solutions are tailored specifically to companies implementing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) scenarios. Employees benefit by being able use the same device for work and personal use, rather than carrying separate devices—making it possible to work more efficiently. It also allows them to communicate when, where, and how their clients prefer.
Deploying an MDM can also help ensure employees adhere to the compliance and regulatory requirements—while allowing them to use their own personal devices. According to the Smarsh 2017 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey, 83 percent of firms allow employees to use personal devices for business communications. However, half the survey respondents identified mobile communications devices as a major concern, and 23 percent have no or minimal confidence that their firm is capturing and archiving all business messages sent via mobile devices.
Here’s how having an MDM in place can help minimize those concerns:
- Policies for monitoring, encryption, and employee use can be created, redefined, and enforced by IT
- Containerization, or the separation of business and personal files on the same device, keeps business information secure
- Disable noncompliant or unapproved apps and prevent them from being used on the device when logged in to the business network
- Be better prepared to respond to regulatory, eDiscovery, or litigation events
- Communications such as emails, SMS/text messaging, social media, documents, and IMs can be archived directly from the device in use
- disable the use of apps such as iMessage, which cannot be archived
Solutions such as MobileIron and AirWatch incorporate security and compliance policies and configurations across an organization from a single platform, and provide the visibility and controls needed to deploy, manage, and retire devices when employees replace devices or leave the company. These solutions can be deployed across the most widely used operation systems and platforms, including Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry, Mac OS, and Windows.
Archiving and MDM
Deploying an MDM solution is not enough to keep your business within the boundaries of compliance. To satisfy regulatory requirements around social media, SMS/text messaging, IMs, and emails, look for an MDM solution that integrates with your comprehensive archiving solution. By doing that, you can ensure communications happening on mobile devices can be archived in real time, along with other digital communications—and are readily available to respond to internal or regulatory audits, eDiscovery, or litigious events.
Learn more about how Smarsh provides MDM-friendly archiving here.
Founded in 2001, Smarsh helps more than 20,000 organizations meet regulatory compliance, e-discovery and record retention requirements. The company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with offices in New York City, Boston, Raleigh, N.C. and London.
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