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

"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.

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.