Servers such as Microsoft Exchange (which provides an e-mail system) offer a multi-platform solution to implementing device security. However, the level of security that can be implemented on each device varies greatly, depending on the smartphone's integration with the security functionality Exchange supports. Other device security and management solutions are also available. Because they offer a range of functionality, you may want to work with different vendors to assess how well the functionality of different solutions applies to your particular requirements.
The suggestions offered here are just some of the steps you need to take to assess how your organization should secure the smartphones employees use to access corporate resources. You will find that the speed at which smartphones change will affect your choice of security solutions. Typically, major changes to smartphone operating systems and security functionality happen annually or even more frequently. This is dramatically different from the operating systems of desktops and laptops, which have changed approximately every three or more years.
Because of the rapid rate of change in mobile device technology, you may wish to reassess security functionality for those devices annually in order to take advantage of new security features (as they are made available by updates in the smartphone operating system). You might require a temporary waiver of security requirements for devices that do not meet your company's security requirements.
By following the approach to assessing and creating a smartphone security policy outlined here, modeling your existing desktop and laptop security, you will find ways to provide your enterprise users with the productivity advantages smartphones provide, while protecting corporate data and other resources those devices regularly access.
Chris De Herrera is a Mobility Architect for Enterprise Mobile. He is a recognized expert on Windows Mobile, and has worked with customers to analyze, configure, manage and support many kinds of smart phones. He can be reached at [email protected].