Posted by: deltadallas | April 7, 2011

Mobile Devices and Corporate Policy: BUCKLE UP!

Think about mobile devices for a second. They are portable, increasingly affordable and gaining technological capabilities every day. Look around you. No really – look around you right now and check to see how many of your co-workers have smartphones visible on their desks. Most will. Even the people who you think can’t afford a smartphone or the service connected – consider connectivity a necessity. Perhaps it is time to start creating and developing a policy around mobile devices.  Just when you think you have your electronic security policies in order, mobile devices are creating the need for even more policy to be created.

Don’t get me wrong. I love mobile devices. The SECOND my iPhone hit my hand last year I was addicted. I find myself sitting in lobbies on my phone, surfing the internet while I wait for my daughter to finish her guitar lesson, and even using a “Bible app” on my phone at church. Is any place sacred? Not really.

In the workplace in particular, people are increasing their use of mobile devices. Access to networks, systems, and applications outside of the office can increase productivity and give workers a sense of flexibility. These advantages are not without cost, though. As companies look to create policies around mobile devices, they are facing many challenges.

Many office functions can be enhanced by the use of mobile devices, and the number of applications available to employees via mobile devices is increasing daily. The reality is, however, that employees are accessing company systems via personal mobile devices and downloading corporate data. The security risks involved are great and the need for specific policy is apparent.

Don’t panic. You already have a framework to begin your process. As you work through the creation of a mobile security policy, you can use your current policy for electronic assets as a guide. Remember, the employee is using their device, but they are connecting to your network and utilizing your data. They can either comply with the security standards you set or they can be denied access company data from mobile devices. Employers do have the right to set security around the use of their data, no matter what device is being used. Create clear policies as to how company data and systems can be utilized from mobile devices and identify the kinds of information considered confidential to your company. Much like the social networking policies companies have developed during the past three years, you will be creating a safety-net for the future.

Tabitha Woods is Marketing Specialist with Delta Dallas. You can reach her at twoods@deltadallas.com.

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