IBM has introduced a new software to help organizations better manage and secure the explosion of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, while also managing laptops, desktops and servers.
As the mobile workforce is expected to reach more than 1.19 billion by next year, there are new pressures to connect personal smartphones and tablets to corporate networks and provide employee access to business data on them.
At the end of 2011, almost half of mobile devices used in the workplace were employee owned according to IDC. This “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend raises additional concerns about managing security risks. Mobile exploits doubled in 2011 from 2010, according to the IBM X-Force Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report.
IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices helps organizations support and protect the growing mobile workforce. Through this software, firms can use a single solution to secure and manage smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops, desktop PCs, and servers. It manages Apple iOS, Google Android, Nokia Symbian, and Microsoft Windows Mobile and Windows Phone devices.
Organizations can install the IBM software in hours, remotely set policies, identify potential data compromises and wipe data off the devices if they are lost or stolen. The software helps configure and enforce passcode policies, encryption and Virtual Private Network settings.
“As the BYOD movement accelerates, it presents new opportunities and challenges for organizations. In order for them to take advantage of this trend, it is important that organizations have mobile security and management policies in place,” said Bob Sutor, vice president, IBM Mobile Platform. “The new offering from IBM will help organizations manage personal and enterprise-owned mobile phones and tablets across IT networks in order to minimize risk, increase productivity and enhance innovation.”
New York-based School System Automates its Computing Endpoints and Looks to Mobile Management. The Western New York Regional Information Center (WNYRIC) housed within Erie 1 BOCES, a regional public education services organization in Buffalo, N.Y., manages hundreds of thousands of computing endpoints for more than 100 school districts. IBM Tivoli Endpoint Management software automatically updates security protection and power management of its computers and servers across the school district. Before using the software, one of the ways to perform these functions was for someone to drive to each location and manually update each machine. IBM software will help the WNYRIC reduce energy usage through automating power settings of these thousands of endpoints, resulting in an estimated savings of $3.2 million in a year.
Now more of the district's administrators, teachers and students are looking to tap their district-issued and personal iPads, iPhones and Android devices to create lesson plans, communicate and share documents on their network. The WNYRIC is planning a comprehensive way to manage mobile security issues and compliance and has gotten early access to IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices.
“Our school districts are looking for a way to manage and secure hundreds and potentially thousands of smartphones, laptops and other computers,” said Jill Holbrook, associate director of the WNYRIC. “Automating the computer updates and security protection across our entire network—including mobile—would speed our ability to provide more secure and efficient services to the administrators, teachers and students we support.”
Managing and Securing Mobile Devices throughout the Workplace
This new release of IBM Endpoint Manager extends IBM capabilities in managing the security and compliance of servers, computers and point-of-sales devices, such as ATMs and self-service kiosks to smartphones and tablets using mobile operating systems while addressing the unique aspects of those devices. IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices enables customers to:
Safeguard Data -- Selectively wipe enterprise data when devices are lost or stolen and configure and enforce passcode policies, encryption, VPN, and more.
Provide Flexible Management -- Secure and manage employee- and corporate-owned mobile devices using a combination of email-based and agent-based management, while preserving the native device experience.
Maintain Compliance -- Automatically identify non-compliant devices and take action by denying email access or by issuing user notifications until corrective actions are implemented.
Unify the Infrastructure -- Leverage a single infrastructure to manage and secure all devices: smartphones, media tablets, desktops, laptops, and servers.
The IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices is built on IBM’s 2010 acquisition of BigFix software.