Successful Data Mobility Strategy – Balancing Risk and Reward
The embrace of business data mobility is occurring at different rates in different industries. Some transformational businesses and technologically savvy entities were the first to adopt an enterprise-wide remote access/bring your own device (BYOD) model. This change has dramatically transformed the way people work and the way companies operate, and its benefits are irrefutable. Increased employee satisfaction and productivity, improved efficiency and effectiveness of business processes, and reduced costs are all potential opportunities for businesses that can successfully implement a strong data mobility strategy.
The risks however, are equally significant. As employees access business data and systems on an ever-growing variety of personally-owned mobile devices, often over untrusted, public networks, the potential for loss or theft of valuable information is substantial. The key to maximizing the benefits, while minimizing these risks, is finding the right balance for your unique organization between what user experience you’re trying to achieve, and what customized data protection is required.
Data Mobility Models
To achieve this balance, three basic models are available (as well as countless hybrids and security system combinations):
- 1. Application and/or Desktop Virtualization – Similar to the way enterprise applications can be securely accessed on networked devices, these programs can also be optimized and accessed on demand from authenticated mobile devices. The inherent security of keeping applications and data internally protected still applies.
- 2. Mobile Application Management (MAM) – In this set-up, employees can access necessary programs on mobile devices via downloadable applications or ‘apps’. These mobile apps may temporarily or permanently store data on the device or securely access centralized information, depending on the desired user experience.
- 3. Mobile Device Management (MDM) and “Containers” – This approach involves centralized control of any approved mobile device used to access corporate information. Central management can utilize techniques like locking or wiping a mobile device, blacklisting applications, enforcing encryption, or selectively disabling device capabilities to protect sensitive data.
Determining what mobile data solution is right for your business or organization involves analyzing a variety of factors revolving around security, strategy, user objectives, and IT operations and resources. Some important questions to ask include:
- What type of data do you collect, use, and disseminate? Who is authorized to read, write, or edit this information? What is the level of sensitivity of the data? Completely public, completely private, or somewhere in between?
- Is your data individualized and detailed or aggregate and anonymous? You may need to have different levels of security - one level for social security or credit card numbers and a different level for customer segment order histories.
- Where and how is business information stored and protected? Is it segmented, regionalized, or centralized? Consider protection of data both at-rest and in—flight.
- When is data is archived or deleted and how? What are the rules around that and how is it verified that those processes have been successfully completed?
Both employees and employers today have come to expect constant access on whatever device they prefer – and an even better technology experience than they might enjoy in their personal lives. Strategic businesses need to be able to support this desire with appropriate levels of security, control, and compliance, without adding cumbersome levels of unnecessary restrictions or interference.
EKS&H helps guide clients through the process to achieve an effective – and secure – mobile data enterprise. As your trusted business advisor, our experts can assist with comprehensive technology strategy, software advisory and implementation, managed IT & cloud services, and solutions for information delivery and analysis. To find out more about how EKS&H can help you with the complexities of data mobility, please contact Dan Domagala at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-740-9400.