Mobile device backup challenges today

W. Curtis Preston offered this advice to an attendee at a recent Storage Decisions conference.

What are the challenges for endpoint protection concerning laptop computers and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones?

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The problem with smartphones and tablets is the OS. It's fundamentally designed the opposite way we need an OS to be designed. If it's a Windows, Linux or Mac laptop, the software runs as at an administrator level, and you can get access to files. But if you look at an iPhone, you can be as high as you want and you're still not accessing that app's data. But we can put Exchange on there. So, there's a copy of it, and we can wipe it remotely from a security perspective, so we don't have to worry about backing it up.

The other solution is a [virtual machine] VM that runs on your phone or your iPad. There are a few solutions out there … where basically any apps that need access to corporate data run inside that VM and it authenticates each time you need access to them. And as soon as you can't authenticate, the data is worthless. It doesn't need to be backed up, because the data is on-site.

Laptops -- and you can quote me on this -- I think a company is stupid for not backing up their laptops. There's no valid reason for not doing that.

This was first published in January 2014

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