How to say yes to (almost) any smartphone

Employees want iPhones, Androids, and other devices beyond the BlackBerry; here's how to safely welcome them

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Saying yes to smartphones: Securing the needs of Category 2 businesses for important information
If your business deals with important information, it's a bit harder to embrace smartphones beyond the BlackBerry, but you can confidently support iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Nokia Symbian.

Apple iPhone. The iPhone supports all the requirements for this category, as well as the good-to-have options such as VPN support. The issues and capabilities for Category 2 businesses are the same as those described for Category 1 businesses.

One Category 2-specific issue to be aware is that the VPN support for Cisco networks does not let you use Cisco profile distribution files; you have to manually enter the VPN profile or use the iPhone Configuration Manager to generate it, so there's more IT overhead in implementing VPN access.

Google Android. The Android operating system lacks the services to provide many of this category's requirements, such as on-device encryption or password expiration. OpenVPN and PPTP/IPsec VPNs are supported in the operating system but may not be available in all devices (device makers don't have to implement it).

If your concern is about protecting email, calendar, and contacts data -- and you use a compatible VPN -- you can probably compromise the Category 2 requirements a bit for Android users. But you can't meet them all.

Microsoft Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile supports all the requirements for this category, as well as the good-to-have options such as VPN support. The issues and capabilities for Category 2 businesses are the same as described previously for Category 1 businesses. However, for large-scale deployments in Microsoft-based IT shops, you may want to use Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, which lets you add self-provisioning, such as for password resets, and handle thousands of users across multiple Active Directory controllers if they are in the same forest.

Nokia Symbian. Nokia supports all the requirements for this category, as well as the good-to-have options such as VPN support. The issues and capabilities for Category 2 businesses are the same as those described for Category 1 businesses.

Palm Pre. WebOS lacks the services to provide most of this category's requirements, so it cannot legitimately meet the needs of Category 2 businesses.

RIM BlackBerry. The BlackBerry supports all the requirements for this category, as well as the good-to-have options such as VPN support. The issues and capabilities for Category 2 businesses are the same as those described for Category 1 businesses.

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