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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is putting pressure on IT. Until now, attempts to bring enterprise-grade security to personal devices have been met with limited success. Could profile management software change this? The following article explores the benefits of splitting corporate and personal data on one device.

Despite the proliferation of different devices and platforms across an enterprise organisation, the need to ensure secure access to corporate data remains paramount. 77 per cent of IT managers suggest that the risk of malware spreading to corporate networks from mobile devices is moderate to very high1. With more personal devices used in the workplace, these are more likely to be lost or stolen as they are taken out on social occasions or on holiday.

Some enterprises have tried to secure employees’ personal devices with the same management software they routinely use on their business-owned devices. This gives IT departments excellent insight into how the device is being used as well as the ability to remotely combat malware, install apps, encrypt data and even wipe the device should it be lost or stolen. However, some employees feel uncomfortable with their employers having such deep access to their own personal device and do not comply with guidelines.

A better strategy for BYOD management

New profile management software solutions have been developed that separate all work and personal data and applications on the device, giving employees privacy whilst protecting sensitive corporate applications and data. These work by establishing work and personal personas with all corporate data and applications contained in a separate portion of the device which is encrypted and can be remotely managed by the IT department.

Not only are all personal applications and data inaccessible for IT to manage and monitor, the user experience is also untouched resulting in absolutely no impact on the employee’s personal use of their device. In fact, by partitioning the business portion of the device employees can also gain important new advantages.

For example, while BYOD is normally popular with employees as it allows them to work flexibly using their own device, they do either have to cover the cost of associated voice and data charges themselves - or at least separate them from personal charges so they can be expensed. By ensuring all work voice, data and app usage is in a separate partition, these charges can easily be tracked and automatically submitted to the finance team making the expenses process effortless.

With Deloitte claiming that personal smartphone ownership in the UK has recently hit 72 per cent2, the potential for employees to work flexibly is undoubtedly major. The similarly encouraging growth in tablet adoption means the type of work they can do is only going to widen as well. Profile manager services are going to be critical in helping IT departments build a solid BYOD strategy without compromising security.

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