Whether you’ve decided to implement a bring your own technology (BYOT) approach to mobility, or want to roll out iPad devices to specific groups in your organisation, defining your mobile strategy early on is vital. Mobile security is a serious concern for IT teams who have previously been used to presenting a desktop PC and standard IT tools, and failing to take action now may mean that you run into problems around management and device usage later on.
Which mobile devices and operating systems will you support?
The first step is always going to be to decide what devices staff can use. Which devices will you be able to manage? What security features are built into the operating system?
Security of device and data will always come first so consider if the operating system includes built-in encryption and if it’s possible for the device to be jailbroken or rooted easily. Also, can you enforce passwords and locate or wipe (both partially and fully) lost devices? Where work will include accessing sensitive data, ensure that the device meets government standards – Apple devices (iPad and iPhone) running iOS 6 have been granted permission by CESG for Impact Level 3, for example.
There’s no question over whether you’ll need mobile device management (MDM) and app management. If you already have a solution in place, will your devices be covered, or will you need additional software? Does the device support ActiveSync?
Finally, what apps are available for the device and how easy is it to create bespoke ones for your specific needs? Developing and deploying apps is becoming increasingly important for many organisations that want to get the most from the opportunities mobility presents.
Will your management solution meet the security needs of your device strategy?
Data protection will be key in setting up mobile management. Organisations now have to deal with increasing amounts of digital information, and anyone trying to convince finance of the benefits of using mobile devices must address security concerns.
Device security at its most basic must include complex, alphanumeric passwords. Common security features also include automated removal of non-compliant devices, secure document distribution, and remote locking and wiping.
You should aim to use an MDM solution that allows standardised administration policies, permits admin to create role-based rules, and lets you assign privileges and restrictions that make the device safe for the manipulation of sensitive data. Apple technology already have half baked-in MDM features that will help you cover off the basics.
Solutions by JAMF, Absolute Software and AirWatch, however, allow more granular control with additional functionality around monitoring device usage and app management. JAMF’s Casper Suite is purely for iOS and OS X, Absolute Manage adds Android and Windows management, while AirWatch covers all mobile device platforms.
Will you need custom apps and how will they be distributed?
Going mobile is not just about providing access to standard tools. If you want to get the most from the devices and run the necessary apps, consider licensing, legacy applications and development of new tools.
While legacy applications won’t have been designed to make use of a mobile device’s features and user interface, they may be important to allow for full integration into your existing IT. One option is to use virtual private networks (VPN) setting to provide remote access to desktop apps. The other is to provide users access to apps through a Secure Content Locker application within the MDM that will enable your staff to access documents, edit and save remotely in a secure environment.
Employees can only get the most from the device, though, if they have access to the right software, and one way to provide that is through an apps store.
The iTunes store is home to innovative applications, but you can also draw on third-party developers to create bespoke software or set up internal app development. Delivery of these apps would be through an internal app store. The store, which could simply be a web server that is available to internal users, can be tailored to provide a self-serve portal for employees looking to download internally developed apps. Or for an extra layer of control they can be distributed through MDM technology and Apple’s VPP programme to ensure that all devices stay current and compliant.
Want to find out more about using Apple’s iPad and iPhone in your organisation? Give Jigsaw24 a call on 03332 409 323 or email PublicSector@Jigsaw24.com. You can also visit www.Jigsaw24.com/public-sector.
By Ade Leader