Symantec Hosted Services supremo claims mobile devices not yet ready for enterprise

News by Dan Raywood

The number of mobile devices used by employees for business are causing problems for corporate IT teams

The number of mobile devices used by employees for business are causing problems for corporate IT teams.

Speaking at the Symantec Vision conference in Barcelona, Rowan Trollope, SVP of Symantec Hosted Services, claimed that devices that are 'untethered and out of the corporate environment' make securing them a challenging job.

He said: “I read a statistic that said 50 per cent of western Europe was considered to be mobile, so they need better protection and need to be able to connect to the network in order to give updates. The other aside is that companies have different network configurations with a remote office who may not be connected, so it is complex on how to define the IT infrastructure.”

Asked what devices he has attempting to access his network and how he manages them, David Smith, chief technology and information officer at Fujitsu, said that Fujitsu blocks Android devices, which 'is not a popular decision', and approves the use of the Apple iPhone but has barred the iPad.

When asked what would happen if the managing director or a board member wanted to bring an iPad into the company for use at work, he told SC Magazine that they would not be allowed to connect. He said: “I count the amount of emails I receive every week which start with 'why can't I', as it is quite a good indicator of technology trends actually, as when the iPad first came out it was 'why can't I connect my iPad'?

“The volume has dropped now on iPad as it got to about 300 and it has hovered there but has not got materially worse, but Android is the one that is really creating the volume, as people have gone out and bought themselves Android phones.

“We have a service where we will deliver corporate email with some other corporate data services for corporately owned phones and some personally owned phones, some people have their own phones and will have corporate and some other data delivered to it. Until we can remote manage that, until we can remote wipe that and until it is encrypted to an appropriate level we won't give them the data.

“People can choose from a Nokia or Symbian operated devices, for some of our sales-oriented people they can choose an iPhone and because the bulk of our company is serving government, the only CESG approved device currently is the BlackBerry. We have about 1,500 smartphones deployed including personally owned ones, about 500 of those are BlackBerry, very few relatively are Nokia and the rest have iPhones, the moment we announced the service in May the requests went through the roof.”

Talking about the connection to the iPhone, he said for staff to receive the service they have to sign up to a number of conditions: they have to use the corporate SIM; the company reserves the right to remote wipe that device at any time; and it reserves the right to upgrade the operating system.


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