Taming the Corporate iPhone

iPhones have become the ice cream of the corporate mobility space. The wide screen and slick user interface are irresistible and the countless applications are the toppings that create innumerable “flavors” to choose from.

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 Joker Slot

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.

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