Slater & Gordon Lawyers makes the case for mobile security

Australian law firm uses mobile device management to protect 200 corporate, 80 personal devices

Concerns about protecting corporate data on personal devices lead Slater & Gordon Lawyers to introduce a mobile device management (MDM) suite two years ago.

The Good for Enterprise suite, provided by Good Technology, supports a fleet of 200 corporate and 80 bring your own device (BYOD) smartphones and tablets. It is used to keep highly sensitive corporate data separate.

Ninety-five per cent of the devices are iPhones/iPads with the remaining 5 per cent Android.

Slater & Gordon Lawyers infrastructure manager Eric Yew told Computerworld Australia that the main benefit for IT staff has been easier management of smartphones and tablets.

“Staff can bring in personal devices and we don’t need to worry about managing that user’s device. We just manage the [Good] application to ensure that corporate data is kept secure,” he said.

For example, if a staff member loses their personal device only corporate data on the phone will be deleted. This ensures that if the employee finds their phone again, their personal information can still be accessed.

“If it is a corporate device that gets lost or stolen, the request will come through our service desk and a 'wipe device' notification will be issued from the Good mobile control,” said Yew.

Prior to the deployment, Slater & Gordon Lawyers was using Microsoft ActiveSync to configure mobile devices.

However, he said this was “no longer a viable solution” because more employees wanted to use their own smartphones.

“Our staff did not want the IT department imposing device-wide logins and policy on their own phones and impeding access to their personal applications.

“Good’s secure container approach means that corporate and personal information is strictly separated on the device, which is an important distinction from an employee perspective when they are supplying their own phone,” said Yew.

Turning to more recent IT projects, the law firm completed a migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 in April 2013 with 1000 PCs upgraded to the new operating system (OS).

The OS upgrade was rolled out to 50 offices around Australia. The IT department used a system configuration manager to do a staged implementation.

“We had reached a point where we wanted to move off XP and Office 2003. We’ve now moved to Office 2010 and the functionality with other systems is a lot better,” he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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Tags MicrosoftActiveSyncGood Technologymobile device management (MDM)Slater & Gordon Lawyers

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