Have you ever seen a "Pick two out of three” diagram? They present three concepts and force individuals to select the one that they see as the least important. The tradeoffs between convenience, privacy, and security serve as a perfect example of a "Pick two" situation for many mobile security solutions.
Industries have seen massive growth in the number of personal devices that touch sensitive information, resulting in a need to secure data as it is accessed by these endpoints. Various solutions have been adopted by many companies, but all tend to fall into the classic “Pick two” scenario. When evaluating these inadequte solutions, companies normally select security as one of their two priorities, leaving them to choose from only the two scenarios below.
Security and Convenience
Mobile device management (MDM) is a fairly popular solution for securing data on personal mobile devices. Using MDM is often seen as a good strategy because, in theory, it permits employees to use their personal devices and allows employers to monitor and control data as they see fit. However, the major downside to MDM is the need for agents to be installed on personal devices. These agents give employers visibility into employees' personal traffic. Obviously, this raises questions about employee privacy.
Security and Personal Privacy
For individuals who wish to keep their personal information private, using one or more work-only devices is an option. Whether these devices are mobile phones with MDM or managed computers on-premises, the strategy allows employers to monitor corporate data without touching employees' personal data. The large disadvantage with this approach is the lack of convenience for employees. They are required either to carry multiple devices at all times or to access work-related information from few, select locations.
As seen above, there always seems to be a tradeoff when choosing a mobile security strategy. However, does it have to be that way? What if there were a security tool that could ensure data security, provide convenience for employees, and respect the right to privacy all at the same time? It only seems far-fetched when one assumes that agents are necessary to secure data.
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