I was reading the latest paper edition of InformationWeek today and they had an article called 4 ways to Lower Mobility Risk and it again got me thinking about this ever changing mobile space. 5 years ago, when we OEMed GMS from Nokia, they also had a Mobile Device Management (MDM) component. This allowed you to manage the devices that connected in to GMS; doing things like complex security management, device feature management and some application management. It was an additional charge and we put it on our price list. I don’t think we sold a single copy of the add-on, and I know that Nokia had a similar response.
Many of you will also recall our Zen for Handhelds product that was, at the time, a very comprehensive solution though we did not get a large uptake there either. If any of you have been watching the MDM space you will have seen other players coming and going – Motorola Good, Sybase and others, but the landscape has changed a lot. Arguably the one success in the market is RIM, with their BES offering – though I wonder how many bought BES because it was required to sync their ‘hot’ device, compared to the number that bought it specifically for its MDM capabilities.
What this means at the enterprise level is that the vast majority of organizations have had little to no real policy regarding mobile device security – or maybe they have, and the policy has been “let’s do nothing and hope nothing bad happens”. At GWAVACon last week I had the opportunity to sit down with Paul from NotifyCorp and we spent a couple of hours (in the bar) talking about his new Notify MDM product.
I do believe that the time for corporations to get serious about Mobile Device Management is coming. It’s no longer just the executives with their blessed devices that IT needs to worry about. More and more users are trading their dumb-phones in for smartphones and using these to access corporate information. Devices like the iPad, which are replacing things that IT DID worry about, like laptops and netbooks also generally fall under the mobile device category. So this looming headache and, as Kaspersky showed us at the GWAVACon event, a growing platform for Trojans and worms, is going to be forming a large part of your security policy in the not too distant future. From a technology adoption lifecycle perspective I believe we are still in the early adopter phase, but I also have to believe that there is mass adoption on the horizon. I don’t know who will shake out as the market leaders but I have high hopes for Notify MDM. Do yourselves a favor and go check it out on their website.
What are your thoughts? What’s been your mobile device policy to date, and has it been changing or does it look like it’s going to change soon? Are you only concerned with the enterprise supplied devices, or are you also looking at how to manage and secure personal devices (or looking how to keep them off your network)? I’d love to hear from you.
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