In the last few years, mobile devices and smartphones have become critical tools for employees to do their jobs. Not only does this allow employees to manage tasks even when not at the office, but it also increases employee productivity and morale. However, with more employees working from mobile devices, that does increase the potential security risks surrounding confidential business information.
That’s why GDPR was put in place. Mobile device management (MDM) and GDPR work hand-in-hand to ensure client and business confidentiality as well as employee privacy.
What is Mobile Device Management (MDM) and GDPR?
Mobile device management (MDM) is how many businesses run the administration of their mobile fleets. Many employees use company phones for private use as a perk from the company. MDM is usually a third-party app or software that’s installed on all work devices such as smartphones, tablets, and cellphones and allows the business to monitor, manage, and secure business devices. It’s a critical security tool that ensures any sensitive business information on employees’ phones is secure.
Good MDM programs usually have the following core functions:
- Managing hardware inventory
- Managing application inventory
- OS configuration management
- Mobile app deployment, updating and removal
- Mobile app configuration and policy management
- Remote view and control for troubleshooting
- Execute remote actions, such as remote wipe
- Mobile content management
GDPR, on the other hand, is a regulation protocol that protects citizens’ right to have complete control of their personal data. If businesses don’tt comply with GDPR, they face the potential of hefty fines, up to 4% of the company’s gross annual income. MDM and GDPR work closely to ensure that any sensitive business data, such as clients’ contact details and other information, remains safe and stored securely.
Does using MDMs for GDPR make businesses compliant?
MDM can be a great tool to help businesses become GDPR compliant. However, simply having the software installed on your mobile device fleet isn’t enough. MDM provides IT departments with the means to access all devices within their fleets. With this access, IT departments can implement various measures to ensure that mobile devices are GDPR compliant.
IT departments can implement data separation on company phones through the software to keep employees’ business and private use of devices separate. They can also install any needed security and privacy apps to bolster information security on mobile devices. IT departments can also use MDM to frequently update passwords across all devices and ensure that the devices are up to date.
Certain PaaS providers also offer MDM solutions to alleviate some of the stress from IT departments. The IT department will always have to be involved. Still, by using one of these services, you can ensure that your business’s mobile fleet is GDPR compliant while still giving the IT department time to focus on other essential aspects of the company. This is a good option for businesses with IT departments that are already extremely busy and might not be able to handle all the intricacies of mobile device management.
Other factors that make a business GDPR compliant
There are other factors that businesses have to consider to ensure that they are GDPR compliant. Here is a list of GDPR requirements:
- Documented reasons for processing personal information and how information is used.
- Established purposes for collecting data and how data will be handled once it’s no longer needed.
- Ensuring the subject’s data rights.
- Consent in the form of an opt-in or other deliberate action.
- Protecting against personal data breaches and reporting any violations upon discovery.
- Privacy by Design
- Conduct data protection impact assessments
- Using safeguards when transferring data
- Appointing a data protection officer
- Raising awareness and providing training
MDM privacy for employees
MDM is not only a way to ensure that business information is kept safe, but it is also beneficial to protect employees’ privacy as well. By using mobile device management for GDPR compliance, IT departments can create business and personal profiles on a device. Not only does this make it easier to monitor business information and security, but it also ensures the employee’s privacy as the business won’t have access to the private profile. Nobody wants their private messages, photos, and media access. For example, having WhatsApp on a work phone that isn’t separated places business information at risk and the employee’s privacy.
Is MDM for GDPR a requirement?
MDM itself is not a requirement to become GDPR compliant; however, it is a valuable tool that IT departments can use to ensure that mobile devices are GDPR compliant. MDM can be used to install safety measures on mobile devices to protect against data breaches. MDM can also be used to ensure all safeguards are in place on devices that transfer sensitive business data. MDM can also be used to ensure that privacy by design practices are met, which is a mandatory component in becoming GDPR compliant.
MDM and GDPR are closely intertwined. MDM is a valuable tool to ensure that a business’s mobile fleet meets all the regulations and conditions to be GDPR compliant. If companies are not GDPR compliant, they face massive fines that can financially cripple many businesses. Now is not the time to lie on your laurels, but rather a time to take the necessary steps to ensure your business is protecting valuable client data as well as respecting employees’ privacy.