iPhones have become the ice cream of the corporate
However, while I scream, you scream, we all may scream for iPhones, in the corporate world, they can be little more than empty calories when not properly managed. iPhones can be complicated to support and present data security concerns that must be considered.
Luckily, there are tactics available to you to ease the burden on your IT team, help your iPhone users perform at their peak, and allow you to integrate the iPhone into your mobile device offerings without undue risk. Integrated Mobile offers the following tips:
Update your Wireless Policy
While your Wireless Policy cannot physically prevent a user from downloading one of the over 100,000 applications that may or may not be appropriate for your business, it is your first line of defense helping you gain control of the countless ways that iPhone users can use (or misuse) their devices.
In addition to defining how iPhones and other devices are to be deployed, administered, and supported, your Wireless Policy should cover social networking, texting, acceptable applications, internet downloads, etc. You may also stipulate the use of a VPN whenever accessing corporate data over Wi-Fi.
Start your iPhone Users off Right
Procurement sets the stage for proper usage going forward. A new iPhone should land in the user's hands with the plan, accessories, applications, email setup, and configuration settings outlined in your Wireless Policy. This will allow the user to start working right away and improve the chances of adherence to your Wireless Policy going forward.
Your mobile asset management team may also wish to use the Restrictions functionality available on the iPhone. Located in Settings -> General -> Restrictions, this area is protected by a passcode and enables an authorized user to prevent access to certain functionality including: YouTube, application installation, the camera, movies, etc.
Secure your iPhones
As with all mobile devices, security is extremely important. The iPhone 3GS protects data by encrypting information in transmission, at rest on the device, and when backed up to iTunes. Other features and settings can help prevent unauthorized use of the device.
- Take advantage of the Passcode Lock functionality -
Whenever the device's display locks, whether due to Auto-Lock or the iPhone Sleep button, Passcode Lock requires a four-digit code to be entered before the device can be accessed again. The Passcode Lock configuration area also has an Erase Data option, which enables a complete wipe of your iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts. This functionality can be used to guard against data loss in the event of a lost or stolen phone.
- Be careful with Wi-Fi -
While the iPhone lets you connect to high-speed wireless networks for faster Web browsing and better data coverage, employing Wi-Fi networks without taking the proper security precautions can leave the device open to hackers. Only connect to Wi-Fi networks using Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or another wireless security protocol. (You should be prompted for a password when you connect.) Then, to ensure that you don't unknowingly connect to Wi-Fi networks while on the go, you should enable the iPhone's Ask to Join Networks function.
- Connect to your Organization's Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPNs use an encrypted Internet connection that acts as a secure 'tunnel' for data. They are often used within organizations to enable users to securely access the company's network behind a firewall.
The iPhone supports VPNs that use the L2TP, PPTP, Cisco IPSec, and a number of other VPN protocols, and it works over both Wi-Fi and cellular data network connections.
To configure your iPhone's VPN, go to Settings -> General -> Network -> VPN and then choose 'Add VPN Configuration'. Ask your network administrator which settings to use. In most cases, if you've set up a similar VPN on your computer, you can use the same VPN settings for your device.
- Access your email securely -
Many companies use Microsoft Exchange Server, which enforces its security protocols through the iPhone. With the introduction of Lotus iNotes ultralite, Lotus Notes users can also securely receive their corporate mail via the iPhone.
For web mail, check your iPhone email settings to make sure you are using secure sockets layer (SSL) which encrypts mail that is sent and received via the device. Or, access your email portal through Safari using SSL.
- Optimize your Safari Browser Security Settings -
Most iPhone Safari security settings are turned on by default but can be modified by clicking the iPhone Settings icon and then scrolling down and selecting Safari. Make sure that the Block Pop-ups button is switched to 'On'. Then, check your Safari cookies settings. By default, the iPhone Safari Accept Cookies function is set to 'From Visited', but you may want to disable cookies completely by selecting 'Never'.
Support your iPhone Users
Although the iPhone OS is comparatively stable and the interface is user-friendly, issues and questions will arise. The last thing you need is an iPhone user who cannot be productive because they are on hold with Apple or are unable to obtain support.
To keep your mobile users performing at their peak, make sure that you have resources on-hand to answer questions, resolve issues, and fix or replace broken devices. Whether you hire internal IT staff or outsource to the mobility specialists at Integrated Mobile, quality support is key to a productive mobile workforce.
Your mobile workforce is, by definition, mobile. This can present challenges for those responsible for securing and configuring devices for remote users. Data may also need to be remotely wiped from lost or stolen devices.
A number of companies such as Good Technologies, Sybase, Dell, and Apple themselves have developed remote administration solutions for iPhones. Costs and feature-sets vary widely. Consult the experts at Integrated Mobile to determine which solution best meets your organization's needs.