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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Personal Mobile Tech: The Fine Line Between Freedom and Security

person using mobile phone

Ever since the mid-1990s employees have been taking advantage of personal gadgets to help them get work done faster. Remember the PDAs and Palm Pilots from a decade and a half ago? Even though many companies weren't quick to establish policies to protect corporate data, tech savvy users were able to sync contacts, schedules, email, and company files to their mobile device. These days, mobile devices are in the hands of many more users, but there are ways to provide security without sacrificing your employees rights to their personal device.

These days, when an employee brings in their mobile device, IT can enforce policies on that device to keep sensitive company data safe. While features depend on the device, these policies can enforce the device to lock and require a pin or password to get in and allow the memory to be completely purged if the device goes missing. This means the user can have the mobile device they want (without carrying around two phones). Most of these policies benefit not only the company but the user as well, but the question still rises how much control should a company have over a device that belongs to the user? What if an employee leaves the company? Many organizations are finding success in giving their employees freedom, but accountability is still a big concern, as well as sensitive company data. Wiping the phone's memory doesn't hurt the device, but it will remove both company and personal data. One of the biggest things to remember is the employee is utilizing their mobile device so they can perform better for the company; unless your industry has regulations that make this unlawful, they shouldn't feel they are being punished for trying to do their job better. Some companies are investigating new ways to allow employees access to company data without storing it on the phone with cloud-based solutions. Other companies reimburse employees for a portion or all of their mobile plan to make up for tighter control over the user's device. Either way, smartphones are here to stay and only getting more and more advanced. If you aren't prepared for your staff to start using mobile devices to improve their effectiveness, give us a call at 607.433.2200 to find out what steps you need to take to enforce mobile device policies without taking over your employees personal device.