Enterprise Mobility: Bring your Own Balance (BYOB)

Tom Grounds, CIO, Dillon Gage Metals
428
728
151

With the advent of technology there has been a widespread evolution of advanced devices in almost all the verticals. In fact, everyone has some opinion about devices. We all gravitate to those that ‘speak to us’ whether it is how it looks, how it feels in our hand, what I can do with it, expandability, the accessories or maybe even brand loyalty. Basically, whatever drives users toward their device is personal. Their passion and opinion can quickly become the equivalent of a religion argument. As the CIO of an organization with users and their opinions, it is difficult to set a corporate standard for mobile devices. Should you let your users bring their own devices? How do you keep your network secure? How do you keep your data secure? If IT isn’t managing the device, how do we ensure security patches are applied, vulnerabilities removed and the user is less than responsible and loses their device on the train? You can’t just deny the devices. We live in a more mobile world than ever before. Our users are more productive because they can keep tabs on work wherever they go. After all, we can’t forget that’s why IT exists–to enable the business, and more importantly, business success.

The Accommodation Balance

This is where the balance begins.. You stay out of the personal preferences of which device, only focusing on how it’s used. First is setting an understanding of what is allowed and prohibited when using personal devices. With all policies, these are more common-sense type items, but also include some basic security, like requiring a regularly expiring passcode to get into the device. This becomes the ‘price to play’ for the user. The next most important factor is a loss/stolen policy–who and how they report a missing device. Followed lastly by how personal devices can connect to the corporate network and which data is allowed.

 ​We provide a public network with connection to the internet, which can be accessed by all the users with their personal devices 

Let’s start with the network. Here at Dillon Gage Metals, we don’t allow non-domain devices to connect to our private network. As a result, we provide a public network with connection to the internet, which can be accessed by all the users with their personal devices. That way, they can continue to be productive with their mobile device without compromising network security.

The Data Loss Balance

Now for the data protocol. At times, devices get broken, lost, left on planes–so we must think about keeping the data secure. There are several approaches to consider, one of that is providing portals where no data is actually stored on the device. These portals require login credentials and serve up business data to the user. If the device is lost or stolen, no data breach occurs. The second approach, is ‘containerizing’ the data on the device. If data is retained, e-mail for example, several of the e-mail clients associate the data with the application, so that it is easily isolated from other data on the device. In this case, if the device is lost or stolen, a remote wipe can be done to remove that data only.

Conclusion 

All of these factors were considered as Dillon Gage’s Digital Metals division moved forward with our FizMobile application. This includes how users access their accounts, how they make trades, what type of history they can review, and most importantly, what data is actually stored on the device. All-important architectural elements blended with ease of use and flexibility for our dealers. We didn’t stop there—we scan our applications every week against a constantly updated list of known vulnerabilities to ensure that what was safe yesterday on a device, continues to be safe today. The considerations we have for our own data in the BYOD world extended with the same rigorous thought into the applications we provide to our dealers. 

Read Also

Building a Business Case for the CIO's Digital Initiatives

Jason Mowery, Director, Digital & Mobile Solutions, KPMG Advisory

Smartphones Friend or Foe for Automotive OEMs?

Mahbubul Alam, CTO/CMO, Movimento Group

The Case for Mobile IoT UIs

Leon Hounshell, CTO, Greenwave Systems Inc

Protect Yourself from the Modern World of Mobility

Jorge Alfaro, CTO, PartsBase Inc