MDM (Mobile Device Management) at the heart of asset management

A 2013 Forrester study stated that 70% of professionals will use their personal smartphone for work by 2018. Another more recent study, by Dimensional Research (October 2014), indicates that 72% of surveyed IT departments have recorded a doubling in the number of personal devices in use in their company in the past two years. This trend is being driven by two key factors. The first is the arrival on the employment market of Generation Y. Born after 1980, these young employees often use more advanced hardware in their personal life than they have at work. Well versed in the use of instant messaging, social media and other collaborative sharing tools, they are introducing practices from the private sphere into the professional sphere. The second is linked to the increasingly nomadic nature of working life – 63% of those surveyed work away from the office at least once a week and 37% do so on a daily basis. In other words, BYOD is far from a passing fad. It is therefore of vital importance to have robust corporate policies governing this use. Once it goes beyond employees accessing email and managing their agendas, BYOD’s success depends on combining it with Mobile Device Management (MDM). MDM refers to an operational approach allowing IT departments to configure and control remotely all the mobile devices in their company.

Security – the top priority

On a technical level, security must be total. To guarantee this, OT provides Guardialys Mobility, a comprehensive solution for securing the various possible uses of smartphones in the company. This solution offers two main approaches. Either using a dedicated security chip (Secure Element), with an application installed to secure data. Or using a microSD card with a cryptographic core, offering a very high level of security. Guardialys Mobility offers a strong security level for biometric identification, digital signatures, data encryption and smartphone applications as well as use of a smartphone as an access or identification card.

“IT departments are facing a growing number of security issues. An increasing number of hackers are attempting to penetrate the corporate network. OT has developed its solutions to make provide a secure interface with the world outside the company, via strong encryption and middleware ensuring safe interfacing with various hardware, operating systems and web browsers,” says Vincent Bernard, Vice President Marketing and Partnerships within OT’s Citizen Access & Identity activity.

The French company is certainly a key player in the world of mobile security, both in Europe and the United States. It notably provides its solutions to 97% of US government agencies. Particularly as a result of its expertise in the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standard for identification cards in government agencies and leading American companies. Guardialys Mobility allows these to be stored totally securely in electronic format in a smartphone.

At the end of the day, although the widespread use of mobile devices is a fairly recent phenomenon, the solutions mentioned above demonstrate that securing data and practices associated with mobile devices within the company is a challenge which has been fully understood by large companies and governments, although one which is not necessarily compatible with these organizations’ budgets. 38% of IT directors surveyed stated that their company had increased its Security budget following the significant data losses suffered by other organizations. Nevertheless, almost half (47%) believe that a simple user name and password are sufficient to protect their network and applications.

In summary

The development of hi-tech personal devices and widespread adoption of IT have transformed the role of the IT department. It is no longer in a position to exercise total control over end-users’ behavior.

With or without official authorization, 21st-century technology users use their personal devices for work and download any software they feel is necessary to improve their productivity. And of course they do so in complete confidence. The IT manager’s main objective is above all to recognize and accept this new challenge, giving end-users enough freedom while ensuring that they act in a secure way. IT departments must review their security approach in response to these profound changes and OT is there to support them by offering effective tools to secure infrastructure and data.