Bridging the Trust Gap with Mobile Device Management
September 05, 2013
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
These are interesting times in which we live, to say the least. As consumers, we want instant access to information, yet we want our privacy protected. We want to tell the app developer where we are located to get great deals, but we don’t want that information shared. We want to be able to carry our own devices on the job, with access to the network without anyone else controlling what we do.
To sum it up – consumers are picky to the point that it doesn’t always make sense. What business wants its employees carrying around mobile devices that can access the corporate network without protections in place? What user wants the ability to get into their personal email and their work email without the right controls in place so as to keep the two separate? Whether we know it or not, we need mobile device management to protect the user and the corporation.
In an effort to better understand needs and wants in this space, mobile device management provider, MobileIron, recently conducted a survey. The main purpose was to determine what potential issues could arise from the implementation of a BYOD program, and in the process, studied privacy as it relates to BYOD. The results of the survey showed the current situation to be much different than what we read in the latest telecommunications publications.
For one thing, employees tend to be confused about what their employers can and can not see on their personal devices when using a mobile device management solution. Thanks to this lack of transparency, there is a gap in the necessary level of trust between end users and IT administrators.
The survey did confirm that BYOD is here to stay, as 80 percent of participants are already engaging in this platform. For this approach to be successful, however, that trust gap must be bridged and clear communication must be an ongoing priority. After all, survey results showed that only 30 percent of employees actually trust their employer with their personal data.
One clear finding from the survey was that users regularly overestimated how much their employers could see their personal data, such as photos and so forth. They also underestimated how much they could see their company data. Employers could see company data, but more and more employers do not want to see their employees’ personal data. There is clearly confusion, which makes it difficult to establish trust.
Employees are worried about more than just granting employers access to their personal information. They are also worried about their personal communications, photos, videos and eventually even location. When the corporation is not clear as to what they can monitor and why, employees are less likely to trust that they have limits in place.
Mobile device management solutions help to bridge that gap and clearly demonstrate what employers have access to and what they do with that information. Such transparency is just the first step. It’s also important that employers communicate clearly with employees to reinforce why they need these policies in place and how they benefit everyone involved.
Edited by Blaise McNamee