The Smartphone Apps Companies Usually Ban

Bans on specific applications are an all-too-common feature of bring-your-own-device plans. A survey of usage patterns by mobile device management (MDM) vendor Fiberlink suggests that when it comes to app banning, highly convenient options such as cloud storage are at the top of the list.

Ban picture from Shutterstock

Based on Fiberlink's assessment of the 2 million devices it currently manages, this is what typically gets blocked on both iOS and Android when companies have an MDM policy in place:


  1. Dropbox
  2. SugarSync
  3. Box
  4. Facebook
  5. Google Drive
  6. Pandora
  7. SkyDrive
  8. Angry Birds
  10. Netflix

  1. Dropbox
  2. Facebook
  3. Netflix
  4. Google+
  5. Angry Birds
  6. Google Play Movies & TV
  7. Google Play Books
  8. Sugarsync
  9. Google Play Music
  10. Google+ Hangouts

At least in Australia only serious VPN addicts need Netflix banned. And banning Angry Birds? Isn't there something more pressing that needs to be patched?

For our money, a sensible BYOD strategy doesn't try and ban anything; it focuses on ring-fencing the personal aspects of a portable device (which your penny-pinching company probably didn't pay for anyway) from the sensitive corporate data. Clearly we're some way from realising that vision.

[via Business Insider]


    What's the point of this BYOD fad? I don't need to use my employer's network to get to the internet, and I certainly don't want my email/FB/texts/etc running through their monitoring systems. It's my device and my network subscription, I pay the bills so I'll take the responsibility.

    The only thing that might be useful is if I could get a sync of my work calendar and email presented separately to my own - a separate mailbox in gmail and a separate calendar for work would be handy.

    I also have a work provided mobile network connection, and separate work and personal laptops so maybe I'm not a good use case for BYOD, but it really doesn't seem relevant.

    Last edited 11/06/13 11:30 am

    it's not BYOD strategy, it's company owned devices. most companies I know of have settled for IOS as the corporate phone and tablet platform and depending on organisation do need to restrict some apps. Some people have been known to sync massive amounts of personal dropbox info, and in an environment with roaming profiles, a user's profile may become massive. imagine copying 20Gig of data each time a person logs off an on their computer as Window's syncs the profile...

    For your money nothing would be banned? Once again it becomes painfully the obvious the difference between a tech journalist, and an actual person working in a capacity to act on things like this..

    dropbox for example, you terminate that employee tomorrow, and what recourse do you have to get private and confidential data from their dropbox or similar?

    in an office, they would do so simply by not letting you install dropbox and having it be a breach of policy to circumvent that, leaving the employee in question legally liable.

    administrators dont do this stuff just to be dicks.. Its far more work than doing nothing at all after all..

    Last edited 11/06/13 9:33 pm

    My company wishes to introduce company owned iOS devices, but wants us to use our personal apple id's. I don't wish to do this. Can someone offer advice please?

      I'd be setting up a new ID with my work email and work Visa...Simples :)

    dropbox for example, you terminate that employee tomorrow, and what recourse do you have to get private and confidential data from their dropbox or similar?

    About the same as you do for someone that prints the confidential information.

    An employee with malicious intent and even a slight amount of determination will get that confidential data out the door (realistically, they probably already have by the time you got around to terminating them anyway) regardless of what apps you disable for BYOD. In fact, take the printer away, and I can still put any corporate document I want into Dropbox - I've got your monitor, my iPhone, and the TinyScan app. But that doesn't work when there's a lot of pages, you say? That's OK, meet my Surface Pro and the portable scanner I can literally fit into my jacket pocket (it's a little snug, but that's OK, I took it past the security guys in my very small briefcase).

    It's like banning Facebook - unless you're confiscating your employee's phones while they are in your building, you've ticked the box marked "risk management" and pushed the risky behaviour you're concerned about into an unmonitored space.

    Banning an application because you don't trust your employees isn't a useful solution, because (1) it's child's play to workaround the ban, and (2) it's not the app that's the problem.

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