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When it comes to the “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement, security is of the utmost importance, especially as it pertains to electronic healthcare records. Leakage of this very private data could be quite damaging to both owners and care providers.
The BYOD trend and its associated security concerns affect numerous other professions as well. As companies aim to increase efficiency by allowing employee access to contacts and sensitive company documents from their smartphones while working remotely, many tough realities are confronted. Companies are faced with the decision to let employees use their own device or provide a “corporate-owned personally enabled,” or COPE, device – a mobile device that is already secured and expected to be used solely for “on the job” activities.
The unfortunate reality is that mobile device theft is on the rise. According to a recent analysis of more than 15 million users by mobile security company Lookout, American consumers lose their phones about once a year. Unrecovered, that could cost each smartphone owner more than $250 a year. While $250 is a substantial chunk of change for most people, the bigger issue is in the loss of valuable proprietary data – ranging from confidential product specs to sensitive financial information, to intellectual property that simply must not fall into the wrong hands.
There are many software companies that offer applications which serve as a protective “envelope” through which users can access the files necessary to conduct business offsite, for example at a client location. In the event the phone is lost, these envelopes help keep access to the data secure. In some cases, the information can even be removed remotely so it can no longer be accessed. As mobile device technology seemingly advances at the speed of light and smartphone adoption continues to rise, it remains to be seen how security needs will evolve.
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