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Data protection management in a mad, mobile world

Nothing gives IT headaches like MDM. Read what our Twitter followers had to say about developing a data protection management plan for mobile devices.'s mobility-themed tweet jam Feb. 27 touched on one of mobility's biggest issues: how to create a...

data protection management plan to ensure that information on mobile devices stays safe.

Enterprise mobility continues to evolve at a rapid pace, adding complexity thanks to areas such as application development, cloud computing and bring your own device (BYOD) trends. So @searchCIO asked our followers:

Tweet jam participants tackled the difficult topic of data protection management head-on, suggesting possible solutions like mobile device management (MDM) programs, data encryption and shifting the CIO focus from the device to the data:

As our tweet jam participants pointed out, there's no easy solution to guarantee perfect mobile data protection management. With that said, many of our followers (and it's not just the compliance guys) suggested that companies create solid security policies around mobile devices, and data in general:

Even after organizations craft and implement mobile data protection management policies, there's still more work to be done. Human costs can make a security policy seem like a waste of time if employees or users aren't on board:

When it comes to developing security strategies and data protection management programs in a brave new mobile world, tweet jam participants talked problems and solutions, but in the end agreed that there is no way to guarantee data security:

Is ensuring data protection a lost cause for CIOs? Are factors like human error, user device preferences and a lack of employee trust hindering security policy success? Let us know in the comments section below.

Read more about what tweet jam participants had to say about developing a security policy to guarantee mobile device data protection by searching the #CIOChat hashtag on Twitter. Follow @searchCIO on Twitter to be notified about upcoming Twitter conversations.

This was last published in March 2013



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Your turn: What can CIOs do to guarantee data security in this brave new mobile world?
That's a loaded question - the nature of technology, at present, means that a true guarantee of data security is impossible as long as remote access can occur. The best way to stop sensitive data from leaking out is putting it on a private network with no external access - physical or wireless. Yes, it's inconvenient to limit access, but it's usually less trouble than the average hack will cause. If you really care about protecting your data, then you're going to do what's necessary to secure it properly. Anything less is doomed from the start and not worth wasting time on.
Well said. I also feel that limiting access from the very beginning is also helpful. Employees are less-likely to complain if you always limit their access  vs. implementing only after some issue occurs.

Do you have limited access on your mobile device(s)?
In general, I limit users' access on a need-to-know basis. That's actually easier than it sounds - once you understand what a job entails, it's easy to predict what information an employee needs and make sure their account has access to it. At the same time, you can set things up so they have absolutely no way to access anything else - if they need more information, that can be arranged, and this type of setup stops hackers from being able to see all of your data just by getting access to one worker's phone.
Implemeting and MDM solution is critical in any business weather big or small. Little people do have importatn financial, personal data on mobile devices.