Vodafone: The security to go mobile
Innovation Profile Vodafone’s mobile device management packages are tailored to fit a business’s specific security needs
Jonathan Rutherford, head of enterprise marketing at Vodafone Ireland: “Our aim with the new service is to allow smart devices for work to be protected and secure.”
One of the main constraints to businesses exploiting the full potential of the latest mobile technology is the fear of security breaches. The idea of staff walking around with highly commercially sensitive data on smartphones or tablet devices that can easily be stolen or just left behind on trains or in cafes is enough to fill most IT managers and chief executives with very real dread.
And it’s not as if these devices aren’t in everyday use. According to recent research carried out by Vodafone Ireland 90 per cent of businesses are now using smartphones for work and 52 per cent are using tablets.
Very significantly, 75 per cent of small to medium businesses questioned say they plan within the next two years to invest in security solutions to address the need to keep company information secure.
“Everyone understands that security is a big issue from a desktop point of view and the need for virus protection and measures to prevent data being hacked and so on,” says Jonathan Rutherford, head of enterprise marketing at Vodafone Ireland. “But with mobility there is an even greater need for security measures.”
Debate has moved on
He believes that acceptance for mobile devices has now reached such a level that the debate has moved on from what they can do for a business to how they do it.
“People understand smartphones and tablets and it’s now about security and getting more out of them. Businesses have moved on from just using email on them to a point where you have healthcare professionals carrying around patient records and board members having really important business critical information on them. This is leading to increased security concerns.”
Vodafone Ireland is responding to these concerns with new tailored mobile device management packages to fit a business’s specific security requirements. “Our aim with the new service is to allow smart devices for work to be protected and secure and to make it simple for businesses to manage an employee’s remote access to company information and systems,” says Rutherford.
Secure device manager
At the heart of the new service is the cloud-based secure device manager which allows a user to choose which functions they need and how they want to use them. “At the basic level a customer can choose lock and wipe for lost or stolen devices. If a device is lost or stolen they can notify us and we will lock it over the air preventing anyone else from using it. And if they don’t find it within a pre-determined time period we will wipe all data from the device meaning that no one else can access it.”
Customers can also use the service to find a lost device.
“The GPS locator service tracks the device and allows you to find it and retrieve it,” Rutherford explains. “There is also an application management service which allows businesses to restrict or allow access to selected mobile apps.