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Companies are encouraged to get out in front of the BYOD phenomenon by putting security and other policies in place.

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"It is better to take control, endorse it and manage it than it is to let it grow organically," says Robert Beggs, founder and chief executive officer of Burlington, Ont.-based information security firm Digital Defence, of the bring-your-own-device phenomenon. Here, Mr. Beggs outlines five key elements of mobile device management software for BYOD.

1. Asset management software. If a device gets lost, be prepared to give law enforcement a complete description, including a serial number.

2. Risk management or other software that will give an update on the information stored on the device and indicate whether it was sensitive.

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3. Antivirus software and – depending on the device's complexity – a client-side firewall.

4. Encryption software if required.

5. Most important of all, policy enforcement software: an enterprise application that can remotely wipe the device if it's identified as lost or stolen; enforces network policies such as a password to access the device, password length and use of encryption; and separates the user's personal data from enterprise data. This may also include the asset management software.

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