The same security and privacy tools used to facilitate companies’ bring-your-own-device policies can also be used to secure mobile point of sale systems, according to Alan Dabbiere, chairman of AirWatch, a mobile device management software and services provider.
For example, software allows companies to block an employee’s tablet from accessing sensitive systems if the employee who owns the tablet leaves the company. For a company-issued device used as a POS terminal, software can be installed that remotely wipes application-specific data as soon as a device fails to connect to proper security networks.
“You can put time bombs in your applications to remotely wipe app-specific data,” Dabbiere said during a presentation Monday at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention, ongoing this week in New York.
Such tools exist because employees are increasingly demanding the ability to use their personal smartphones and tablets to conduct work-related business. Employers can’t ignore this trend and must establish policies that protect corporate data.
“These devices are now like laptops, but they’re not being secured like laptops,” Dabbiere said
Dabbiere described systems that provide employees with customized profiles. When the user logs in, the device can be remotely configured to provide appropriate levels of access to company data. These same profiles can be used on shared devices, like tablets deployed to employees on showroom floors—or devices that are used as a mobile POS terminal.
These capabilities are also effective in the use case of shared devices provided to store customers for self-checkout, building gift registry lists, personal shopping services and other applications. Geofencing technology can be used if a customer wanders off with the self-checkout device.
“If I lose a mobile POS device, I would want to be able to wipe it if it were accessed beyond a certain distance from the store,” he said.