Mo’ Mobility, Mo’ Problems

Apple released the iPad 3 last month with much fanfare.  In the first weekend alone they sold 3 million of them, which is very impressive considering it took 28 days for the original iPad to reach just 1 million units sold.  As I’ve written previously, businesses of all shapes and sizes have been finding new and inventive ways to increase productivity by arming their employees with these modern marvels.  While businesses have been quick to uncover new capabilities with these devices, they have also been quick to uncover new problems.

Not only are these devices changing the requirements for wifi inside the office, but now outside of the office the new iPad 3 has the ability to gobble up bandwidth like never before.  While latched onto Verizon or AT&T’s 4G LTE network, a user can consume a whole month’s worth of bandwidth in just one hour by watching hi-definition video, or downloading a bunch of apps.  Speaking of apps, we are seeing a common scenario where a company allows users to use their personal iTunes accounts on their iPads.  Then using that same personal account they purchase apps for business use and get reimbursed for the purchase, or use a company credit-card for the purchase.  If that user ever leaves the company, those apps that the company paid for go with the user’s iTunes account – there is no way for the user to transfer those apps back to the company.

 

I’m always amazed at the information that people have at their fingertips on their mobile devices.  I’m equally amazed at how many people don’t have idle timeouts or passcodes on those same devices.  That means that if their device with all of that great data was ever lost the finder would also have that same great data at their fingertips.  Symantec released a study this month where they purposely “lost” 50 smartphones to see what people who found them would do.  By using software that logged activity remotely they found that 96 percent of the time finders navigated around the phone looking at information, attempting to look at a file called “Saved Passwords” 57 percent of the time, and “HR Salaries” 53 percent of the time.  People tried to access social networks as the phone’s owner 60 percent of the time, and banking apps 43 percent of the time.  The bottom line is – if you ever lose your unprotected mobile device – odds are someone will try to use your data against you.

Many companies who don’t even own any mobile devices unwittingly have corporate data floating around on mobile devices every day.  It’s easier than ever for users to sync their e-mail to their personal mobile devices, access the corporate network from mobile devices, or use cloud services to sync corporate data out to their personal mobile devices for easy, unsecured access.  If you don’t have a mobility policy then chances are this is happening in your company every day, but no one wants to talk about it.

The good news is we have cost-effective solutions to keep your mobile initiatives productive and secure.  Even if your company isn’t mobile yet, we can help you get your mobile strategy in place so you can be ready for the inevitability of mobility.  Please contact us today to start the conversation.

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