Corporate Owned Devices: Virtues, Not Vices

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With corporate owned devices (CODs), a company issues devices to its employees for corporate use and completely disallows the use of non-corporate devices within their infrastructure. The company takes responsibility for the devices’ setup, maintenance, and troubleshooting and has a straightforward mobile device policy in place. In today’s work climate, corporate owned devices are usually favored by large enterprises and are recommended in highly regulated fields such as banking, government, and healthcare where data needs to be controlled.  

However, even if your company does not fall under one of the above industries, CODs are worth considering. Here are 5 benefits to having CODs and policies:

  1. Corporate data security (MDM software): CODs are the best solution for protecting corporate data if a device is stolen, lost or misused. The company distributes managed mobile devices (MDM software) to its employees, which allows the company to wipe data from the device remotely. When the company owns the device, they can set up the desired security policies and pre-load the MDM software. They can apply the necessary usage regulations and can also enforce certain encryption and Wi-Fi systems to tighten network security and to mitigate cyberthreats.
  2. Remote device management: given today’s work from home environment, employees are working remotely and cannot always leverage the IT team when they have a security emergency. With CODs, the IT team can remotely manage all devices from a centralized console and can lock devices or wipe data remotely.
  3. Clarity regarding liability questions: companies often have to deal with the question of who is responsible when there is a cyber incident. With CODs, if a device breaks/if there is a cyber incident, it is clear that the company is responsible and will manage the issue. Eliminating confusion on this matter and therefore limiting litigation will make the company run more smoothly. Overall, with CODs, there is less exposure to legal and HR issues and CODs also help IT departments work within legal and regulatory parameters.
  4. Improved productivity: With CODs, devices are seen as being solely for work purposes and employees know they have to follow security policies and regulations. Employees will likely not be scrolling through inappropriate websites during work hours and will be more focused on their tasks.
  5. Costs: although on the surface, CODs might seem expensive, they can in fact be cost effective for companies. Companies can set up a cost-sharing model for employees for both device and usage. Large orders for devices/carriers can offer cost savings to both employees and the company. Think about it this way, the cost of CODs is much less than cyber security breaches many companies now face. Forbes noted that in 2013, hackers siphoned $300 million from a hundred banks in over 30 countries. Bottom line: investing in CODs is worth it in the long run.