One mobile device is wiped every three minutes as part of a corporate security policy, according to a study of 130,000 devices managed by MaaS360, the Fiberlink mobile device management platform.
Fiberlink, an IBM company, manages millions of mobile devices for businesses worldwide through the MaaS360 platform. The company said today that a study of data from 2013 revealed that, on average, businesses wipe 10% to 20% of their entire device population every year.
Everyone wipes. Fiberlink's data showed businesses from every vertical and size are clearing data from mobile devices to address security concerns.
Remote mobile data wipe capability has become a controversial, if not de facto, standard among corporate privacy policies and is a key feature offered by mobile device management (MDM) platforms. Even cloud storage service providers are offering the capability today.
Corporate attitudes toward bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are often poorly formed and can, in general, fall into one of three categories: There's no official BYOD policy, devices are banned or no one talks about it.
As more companies embrace BYOD and the lines continue to blur between personal and professional use, companies are finding new ways to balance security concerns with employee productivity. One method is to have employees agree to a remote wipe policy, which can sometimes mean personal data on the phone is lost as well.
One method of dealing with the sensitive personal data that employees don't want deleted is "dual persona" mobile devices, or smartphones and tablets that run two separate mobile operating systems that allow disparate instances.
Dual-persona capability allows businesses to lock down corporate data on one OS, while allowing users to take advantage of whatever apps they want to run on the other "personal" OS.
According to Fiberlink's study of its own clients, 63% of devices are partially wiped and 37% are fully wiped.
Additionally, 49% of wipes are done automatically and 51% are done by someone at the organization.
The most common reasons for automatic wipes are because devices have been jailbroken or because companies are enforcing enrollment and application compliance policies, Fiberlink's data showed.