Managing smartphones in the enterprise

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As enterprise adoption of smartphones increase, the management of devices is becoming a key issue.

iOS

 Apple phone With each annual release of iOS, we have seen iOS increasing its security technologies that offer enterprise-grade protection for corporate data while maintaining a great user experience. This comprehensive approach to security allows for end-to-end control of devices, data, and apps and keeps employees focused on being productive.

With iOS version 8.3 onwards, Apple redesigned the iOS platform with security at its core. When Apple set out to create the best possible mobile platform, Apple drew from decades of IT and mobile experience to build an entirely new architecture. Apple thought about the security hazards of the desktop environment, and established a new approach to security in the design of iOS. Apple developed and incorporated innovative features that tighten mobile security and protect the entire system by default. As a result, iOS is a major leap forward in security for mobile devices.

Every iOS device combines software, hardware, and services designed to work together for maximum security and a transparent user experience. iOS protects not only the device and its data at rest, but the entire ecosystem, including everything users do locally, on networks, and with key Internet services.

iOS and iOS devices provide advanced security features, and yet they’re also easy to use. Many of these features are enabled by default, so IT departments don’t need to perform extensive configurations. And key security features like device encryption are not configurable, so users can’t disable them by mistake. Other features, such as Touch ID, enhance the user experience by making it simpler and more intuitive to secure the device.

BlackBerry

Blackberry phone Security, reliability and productivity are hallmark strengths of BlackBerry Enterprise products and services, and have been instrumental to our success in highly secure and regulated industries such as healthcare, government and financial services.

No matter which types of devices your employees use — iOS, Android™, Windows Mobile 8 or BlackBerry BB10, BES12, BlackBerry’s trusted enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution is available to your organization, in both on-premise and cloud-based options.

Android

Android phone Android has security features built into the operating system that significantly reduce the frequency and impact of application security issues. The system is designed so you can typically build your apps with default system and file permissions and avoid difficult decisions about security.

Some of the core security features that help you build secure apps include:

  • The Android Application Sandbox, which isolates your app data and code execution from other apps.
  • An application framework with robust implementations of common security functionality such as cryptography, permissions, and secure IPC.
  • Technologies like ASLR, NX, ProPolice, safe_iop, OpenBSD dlmalloc, OpenBSD calloc, and Linux mmap_min_addr to mitigate risks associated with common memory management errors.
  • An encrypted file system that can be enabled to protect data on lost or stolen devices.
  • User-granted permissions to restrict access to system features and user data.
  • Application-defined permissions to control application data on a per-app basis.

The first commercial version, Android 1.0, was released in September 2008. Android is under ongoing development by Google and the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), and has seen a number of updates to its base operating system since its initial release. Android includes device policy management APIs (application programming interfaces) giving enterprise IT greater management capability through services like Vodafone Device Manager.

The most recent major Android update is Android 5.0 "Lollipop", which was released on November 3, 2014. Android 5.0 Lollipop isn’t just a pretty face: it’s pretty serious about security too. From intruder detection to secure sandboxing, version 5.0 is the toughest Android yet and includes new features like device recognition, Trusted Locations and ''on-body detection'' as well.

With Android for Work - Android separates business apps from personal apps so you can use your favourite Android device for both work and play, with a dedicated work profile for business content that never mixes with your personal stuff, so that IT can’t see or erase your photos, emails or other personal data.

Window Mobile

Window Mobile Windows Phone 8 is the second generation of the Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft. It was released on October 29, 2012, and like its predecessor, it features a flat user interface based on Metro design language. It was succeeded by Windows Phone 8.1, which was unveiled on April 2, 2014.

Windows Phone 8 replaces the Windows CE-based architecture used in Windows Phone 7 with the Windows NT kernel found in Windows 8. Current Windows Phone 7 devices cannot run or update to Windows Phone 8 and new applications compiled specifically for Windows Phone 8 are not made available for Windows Phone 7 devices.

Windows 10 Mobile aims to provide greater synergy with its counterpart for personal computers, including more extensive synchronization of content, a new universal application platform will allow one app to run on multiple Windows 10 devices such as PCs, mobile devices and Xbox, the ability for developers to port Android and iOS apps easily with minimal modifications, as well as the capability, on supported hardware, to connect devices to an external display and utilize a "PC-like" interface with mouse and keyboard input support. Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones will be eligible for upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, pursuant to manufacturer and carrier support. Some features may vary depending on hardware compatibility. Microsoft has stated that it is supposed to be released towards the end of 2015.

Device Manager

One thing at least is clear. Many of the latest smartphone operating systems are positioning themselves as a single device for both your personal and work activities.

As enterprises adopt smartphones, the management of devices is becoming a key issue. Device Manager from Vodafone Global Enterprise is a software tool which allows the contents and privileges of a smartphone to be managed securely. The software provides an audit trail of which data is accessed, when and by whom. Should an employee leave, data and access codes can be remotely wiped, without affecting personal information on the device.

The Device Manager service provides complete reassurance to the telecoms service manager and to the head of corporate security that a user-supplied smartphone, or a smartphone from the approved list provided by the company, complies with all the requirements of confidentiality and security, including compliance with data protection legislation.

Device Manager is supplied as a software as a service (SaaS), and hosted by Vodafone Global Enterprise. Pricing transparency at the handset level means the costs are predictable and can be simply integrated into the overall telecom expense management. It also means that internal recharging can be made if required.

There are two elements to Device Manager. The first is a small app that sits on the smartphone. This talks to gatekeeper software which allows it to pass through the corporate firewall. The app is transparent, requires no specific action on the part of the user and does not add significant delays to the data transactions. This architecture makes it country and carrier agnostic.

The rest of the solution is software securely hosted by Vodafone Global Enterprise on behalf of the customer. Where corporate IT policies prefer not to use SaaS, the service has an adaptive architecture to put all component functionality in-house.

As well as managing smartphones, Device Manager is also suitable to manage tablet devices such as the Apple iPad. Where users have mobile-enabled laptops, either through integral SIM cards or dongles, and this is normally controlled by Vodafone Secure Remote Access, which can be tightly integrated with Device Manager.

Device Manager allows multi-national corporates to permit staff to use a broad range of smart devices, confident that data exchanges are secure and that the instrument can be smartly wiped, either when the employee leaves the company or should it be lost or stolen. As a hosted, cloud-based service it can scale as your users grow across the globe.

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