Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
Martin Gillespie | April 04, 2014
Over the past decade, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept has become popular with insurance organizations and employees alike. Finding the perfect balance among privacy, security, and budgetary concerns presents complex choices for organizations. BYOD benefits include reduced equipment costs, increased employee satisfaction and efficiency, and decreased IT staff burdens.
BYOD can be good for an organization’s bottom line, but the most obvious risk with is that companies may be opening another gateway with potential security vulnerabilities that isn’t adequately managed by the IT staff. Increased security monitoring can be expensive, and in this day and age, IT investments need to demonstrate a clear and measurable return.
Gartner predicts by 2017 half of all employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes. Ensuring data security between these mobile devices and corporate networks will require advanced planning. When considering BYOD, organizations frequently evaluate the cost benefits of Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) solutions for securing their systems.
MDM and MAM are considered the most popular technologies for enabling secure use of an individual’s smartphone and tablet within the enterprise. These technologies started with different use cases, but their features are beginning to overlap. More vendors are starting to combine the two into a single product.
Though they involve a significant investment, the benefits result in securely allowing employee-owned equipment to connect with corporate networks by completely controlling each device. MDM provides command and control of mobile devices in a model that is similar to managing PCs, and therefore easily understood by IT.
There is a belief that gaining control of every setting on each device is necessary to protect and secure the organization. However, this idea conflicts with the very nature of the device being an extension of someone’s personal life and a secure and convenient bridge between personal and professional activities. The good news is in some cases it is possible to implement secure BYOD initiatives without an intrusive MDM configuration.
Do employees really need their mobile devices to be connected to the internal network in order to be productive? Mobile devices are inherently nothing more than portals to online services with small amounts of information stored on the device itself.
A device that is connected to the Exchange email service may contain corporate contact lists and some cached email attachments, but it is not like a laptop that is logging into the network and gaining unfettered access to a myriad of network services. The mobile device can be configured to only be connected to the individual services for a specific reason such as the Exchange email service or to a website through its browser.
In situations such as these, the major threat with mobile data loss is from stolen or lost devices that can be hacked. Fortunately, there are many free or inexpensive methods for wiping a device remotely once it has been lost, without an MDM. Apple provides a free iOS configuration utility that organizations’ IT groups can use to configure employees phones with an IT-controlled Apple ID for Find My iPhone. To implement this solution, you will of course need to establish policies to govern how this control will be used and communicated.
If little is stored on personal devices, there is little for IT to manage. Many organizations are already using cloud services for even their most sensitive data like CRM and marketing analytics. Extending these cloud services to personal devices is a more cost effective alternative to MDM.
At that point, the IT team only needs to manage access to services such as email, file storage, company and third-party applications, and programs at the user level instead of the device level, just as they already do for company-owned resources.
Why does all this matter? The balance between privacy, security, and budget does not mean you have to deny your employees’ requests to use their own device. And it does not mean you have to necessarily transfer the savings into an MDM solution. Consider the real way your employees will use the devices and cheaper alternatives before you make the leap.
Martin Gillespie is director, Mobility Center of Excellence for Salient Commercial Solutions and is responsible for bringing together thought leaders, experts, and resources to create a combination of solutions that can be disseminated to the community to vet ideas, offer strategic and tactical thought leadership, build proof-of concept prototypes, and oversee production delivery that provides benefits to our customers.
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Few Surprises in Cybersecurity for Insurers
- Few Surprises in Cybersecurity for Insurers
- ITA Pro Weekly, January 20, 2016
- Verisk Releases Cyber Exposure Data Standard for Insurance
- British Insurer Selects Guidewire Core Systems
- Nationwide Private Client Expands into New States with ISCS Solution
- Majesco, Appulate Announce Strategic Partnership
- Boston Mutual Partners with Onyx Data Solutions
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA is pleased to present the 2014 Webinar Series. We have many topics for you to choose from and attendance is open to all ITA members. The webinar topics are current and exciting — ranging from predictive analytics to telematics and will focus on the direction insurance carriers need to follow for the future. All webinars are presented by insurance IT professionals along with some of the leading analysts and consultants in the field. There is no cost to attend an ITA webinar. For more information and to register for the webinar, click the “title” of the webinar below.
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
Insurance carriers interested in meeting or exceeding their customer’s expectations regarding mobility are looking at a two-pronged approach... READ MORE
Robert Regis Hyle
Everybody has a wish list and it seems that atop the lists for insurance carriers still operating with legacy systems is the desire to do away with... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE
Strategy Meets Action will hold its annual Summit in Boston on Sept. 14 and the focus for this year is: Becoming the Next-Gen Insurer... READ MORE
Starting last fall when the technology company dropped Mastek from its name and became simply Majesco, its mergers and acquisitions, and hirings have... READ MORE
Digital represents a continuous form of disruption to existing or new business models, products, services or experiences enabled by data and... READ MORE
In spite of all the arm-flapping and hand-waving stirred by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the way health insurance is purchased, and employee... READ MORE
- Vendor Views