The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has made the IT department more popular with users -- but it has brought new challenges. Many of these challenges center on the fact that the device being brought in is increasingly not a laptop but a tablet. These tablets are no longer just consumption devices, they are creation devices (just look at the number of keyboard options for an iPad) and that means they have unique data on them that needs to be protected.
It is easy to assume that protection of these devices can be handled by the often-included file synchronization capabilities. In fairness, these utilities meet a lot of the data protection basics and a user should be able to recover accidentally deleted or overwritten files with them as well as replace a lost or stolen device. But all of this happens outside of corporate governance and counts on the user to know the ins and outs of their products.
At a minimum, this means that data impacting the organization is being created and modified but not under the organization's best practices for data protection and retention. As a worst case, IT may be asked to help recover files for a user that they are not familiar with, forcing them to learn multiple sync interfaces. Finally, most synchronization tools don't keep data forever and if they do it is a premium feature that most users don't purchase.
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Backup managers should look at bringing endpoint protection in-house and not count on built in file synchronization to do the job. This endpoint protection most certainly needs to be expanded to the protection of tablets. While tablets are largely being ignored by traditional backup applications, a few have emerged that provide excellent protection of post-PC devices.
These applications include the capability to provide both file-sync and file-share capabilities as well as device backup and data retention. A few even include advanced capabilities like content search to aide in data compliance and remote wipe to protect corporate data from being lost or stolen.
While robust endpoint data protection may require the use of a standalone application, these applications are relatively easy for IT to operate and certainly easier than learning how to protect each individual device with its own utilities. More importantly a corporate device protection policy will allow the organization to protect and retain its data.