As I was thinking about Mobile Device Management this morning, I was asking myself what the appropriate term was for technology that allows an enterprise to erase its data from an employee’s (or former employee’s) personal device. I started Googling terms like “Intelligent Kill Pill” and eventually came across the term “selective wipe.”
An older term “remote wipe” seems to be the prevailing way to describe the process by which an enterprise sends a kill pill to a mobile device to erase its memory. The problem with this approach is that in a BYOD world, employees using their own personal device to access a corporate network will not tolerate their employer erasing private data such as pictures and personal emails from the device if it ever became necessary to remove the corporate data.
The “selective wipe” is designed to solve this problem. Selective wipe enables an enterprise to issue a kill pill to a BYOD device to erase only the applications and data that the corporation owns without affecting personal data or preventing personal use of the device.
Coincidentally, Sprint recently announced the expansion of the Sprint Professional Mobility Services portfolio, a suite of solutions designed to help businesses simplify management and security across an increasingly complex mix of devices in the workplace. New to the portfolio is Sprint Device Management, which delivers mobile device management and security capabilities across multiple carriers and operating systems with industry leading companies such as AirWatch and Zenprise.
AirWatch calls the BYOD selective wipe feature “enterprise wipe” while Zenprise refers to it as “container wipe,” referring to the secure container on each BYOD managed device to store corporate data. With BYOD becoming a common way for enterprise employees to access corporate data, it will become important for all IT security paradigms to include provisions, rules and processes for selective wipe — the gentler, softer, kill pill.