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Today, a huge proportion of employees rely on mobile devices to complete tasks at work. Approximately 67 percent of employees use their devices at work to improve productivity. About 87 percent of businesses rely on their employees’ output through their ability to use installed mobile business apps on their smartphones.
Organisations are also turning to mobile device management to improve data security and productivity. While this is a good development, it has created vulnerabilities in businesses that they must address through mobile device management systems.
Understanding Mobile Device Management
While there are a growing number of business owners who are knowledgeable about the use of mobile devices in their businesses, there are still others who are either unwilling to take the plunge or know nothing about it. People ask questions like, what is mobile device management? How can MDM be put to use in business? These need to be answered so that others can catch on.
What is mobile device management?
IT departments and administrators use Mobile Device Management (MDM). It is designed to improve the efforts made to control and secure mobile devices such as android smartphones, tablets, laptops, and IoT devices.
You can have MDM solutions as they are called hosted onsite or in the cloud. This gives room for the management of all mobile endpoints, including company and personal devices.
What is the purpose of mobile device management tools?
The purpose of designing an MDM solution is to create the right balance between device management, policy compliance, and user productivity. With the aid of MDM solutions, business owners can enhance data security which is an essential step since the risk of hackers can gain undue advantage where care is not taken.
This way, admins are allowed to monitor mobile devices and can also distribute security policies in an easy way to any device that is connected to sensitive corporate data. MDM solutions monitor various important information related to mobile device health.
They can also decide whether some apps are needed on the devices and help locate them if they get lost. This way, you can trace devices in case they get stolen or become missing.
How Does MDM Work?
Well-defined MDM solutions should be able to boost device supportability, corporate functionality as well as security. All these should be done without compromising user flexibility. For effectiveness, MDM solutions should work in tandem with any other security practice.
In other words, if you use multifactor authentication, strong passwords, location tracking, or geofencing, you need to ensure that your MDM solutions are correctly synchronised. As a result, many organisations see MDM software as a strong option, especially if they want to secure their mobile workforce.
Mechanisms Facilitating Mobile Device Management
The MDM agent on the mobile device and the MDM server, found in a data centre, are two critical components of mobile device management. Anytime the IT (Information Technology) admin decides to configure and release policies on a chosen mobile device linked to their company’s network, they must input the new policy on the Mobile Device Management server’s management console.
When this is done, it becomes possible for the server to push the change made to the MDM agent. Therefore, it is easier to implement the command issued to the mobile device with built-in APIs (Application Programming Interface). The MDM server-agent connection can be used by IT departments anytime they choose to deploy or would like to use any of the apps that may use on the devices.
There have been significant changes made over time to Mobile Device Management MDM. Initially, scaling up the process was one issue people had to contend with. Eventually, outdated steps such as client-initiated updates and SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards were removed by central remote management.
Right now, new devices can be detected automatically by the best MDM software as soon as they connect to the corporate network. The software can also configure policies found at one central admin dashboard and apply the same to all devices.
Typical MDM Solutions For Your Business
Once you have determined that your business should thrive and do better with MDM solutions, it is good for you to get acquainted with the various types that are available in the market.
Many businesses that are using these solutions already attest that mobile management of their devices has improved considerably. Some of the essential features include the following:
- Accepting or rejecting applications
- Tracking devices and inventory keeping
- Passcode enforcement
- Raising alerts to signal users attempting jailbreaking to bypass restrictions
- Remote service management
- Rendering management and support to mobile devices
Mobile Device Vs. Enterprise Mobility Management
Mobile Device Management is commonly used nowadays, especially in technology development. However, it took no less than ten years from the corporate use of mobile devices to when there was a real boom in its use in early 2000 when the first MDM solutions were launched.
At some point, companies began to require more complex mobility and device capabilities in their businesses. This led to the development of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), which is another class of mobile management solutions. EMM covers the complete suite of mobility management solutions, including application and content management.
MDM focuses entirely on the use of mobile devices and the security issues with them. EMM was deemed unsuitable for the use of Mac and Windows management because it was an outright design for managing the apps and the content used on mobile devices. Soon afterward, Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) was developed.
This uses the capabilities of PC and EMM management in a single solution. In this modern age, when people talk about Mobile Device Management, it is not uncommon for the three terms, EMM, UEM, and MDM, to be used. However, it is good to remember that MDM remains the most commonly used of these terms.
Benefits Of Mobile Device Management
Many business owners now know that many advantages can come their way with using MDM software. There are the benefits of increased efficiency, reduction in costs, improved security, and more control, especially with persuasive benefits. There is the added benefit of organisations having visibility over their devices. Some specific advantages you can also begin to enjoy include the following:
Remote management of users and devices
This may appear like an advantage that needs no announcement but deserves mention. There is immense value in remotely managing devices and their users. This can go a long way in assuring the health and security of the mobile devices that may connect to the network.
With remote access to devices, organisations are allowed to disable any user or any of the applications that may not be authorised. This raises the security level a notch higher by blocking all unwelcome access to critical information that may have breached protocol. The risk of data leaks and the inappropriate use of devices is reduced.
Making use of this software allows you the opportunity to apply the same organisation-wide protocols and whatever security procedures you are using with your on-premises PCs (Personal Computers).
This can also be extended to all devices, including personal smartphones. There will be no loop created in the security protocols because such things as access limitations, password regulation, blacklists, and identity management will extend, including mobile devices.
Compliance with regulations
Knowing how employees in any organisation adhere to rules and regulations is essential. It is possible to track and monitor compliance through a single unified console with mobile device management services.
In some businesses, it is crucial to stick to a regulatory compliance standard. In such a case, this kind of software with reporting capabilities can assist in circumventing unauthorised access at any time to mobile devices.
Taking charge of device updates
Virtually everyone can be pronounced guilty of putting off software updates at one time or the other. However, when you are overly lax with updates, it could jeopardise the security of the whole network.
This is because when you fall behind with software updates and patching, you may be leaving vulnerabilities for hackers to sneak in and take advantage of this laxity. In the end, confidential information may fall into the wrong hands.
With Mobile Device Management solutions, admins can centrally control and enforce any update that is considered necessary. It will also be easy for them to apply the system changes they need across the network.
This functionality ensures that there is compliance with government regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) patch management requirements for some organisations in the healthcare sector.
Another example can be seen in the GLBA (The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act) Safeguards Rule for Financial institutions. When this is done, it will make it easier to protect the organisation’s data.
In the cases of some mobile device management solutions, you could have the option for this, which may be based on whether the hardware is available on the device.
Doing this can enable the mobile device manager to ensure that the devices stay within specified or safe locations. In addition, MDM solutions can support organisations in keeping devices and data secure when they set geo-locks.
If we have 67 percent of employees using their personal devices while at work, it is vital to have a solid Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to maintain security. Establishing a mobile management system helps enforce these policies when they allow employees to use their devices for official work. However, you must ensure that all potential security gaps are covered.
Many businesses avoid using devices their companies do not have direct ownership over. Nonetheless, some prefer to explore the benefits of BOYD, and this includes potential savings that can be made on costs and increased productivity. There is a recorded increase in the volume of company data stored outside the traditional security perimeter through the power of mobile devices.
The introduction of legal frameworks such as GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation) has made setting some specified guidelines possible for collecting and processing personal information from individuals. This has also impacted the ever-evolving security threats, but maintaining strong device security is still advisable.
Automatic data backup
According to the stipulated company’s standard backup policies, data connected to any of the company’s applications should be backed up automatically as long as the device is connected to the company’s mobile device management solution.
It is highly beneficial for a company to have an automatic deletion feature in its MDM solution. Some storage space is usually taken up by temporary queues and may not be deleted when no longer in use.
You can free up storage space with an automatic deletion feature. With this, there will be less clogging, and there will be more space for storage.
Components Of Mobile Device Management Tools
Some components can be used to identify any functional mobile device management tools and including the following:
It is usually the responsibility of the IT departments in organisations to procure, deploy, begin to manage, and render support to mobile devices they use. These departments see that mobile devices come with the operating systems and applications that their users need.
Applications that are needed for data protection, productivity, security, backup, and restoration are also acquired.
There could be app wrapping in application security, wherein an IT administrator will apply some security or management features to a chosen application. After this is done, the application is redeployed, but this time, it would be a containerised program.
The addition of security features can help in determining whether user authentication is needed to open an app or whether it is possible for a user to share a file. It also helps in knowing whether it is possible to copy, paste, or store data on the device.
Identity and access management (IAM)
For you to put in place secure mobile management, you need to have a strong identity and access management (IAM). With IAM, you can manage user identities associated with a device. You can regulate each user access fully with features like single sign-on (SSO), role-based access, and multifactor authentication.
Endpoint security involves all devices linked to the company’s network. Such include wearables, sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT), and non-traditional mobile devices. When discussions come up on endpoint security, some standard network security tools include incident response and network access control, antivirus software, (Uniform Resource Locator) URL filtering, and cloud security.
Enterprise mobility management
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is a broader type of mobile device management. It has to do with application and endpoint management and BYOD. One of the good things about EMM solutions is that they are also highly scalable and usually have new security features powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence) analytics.
These solutions can give real-time insights and alerts of several simultaneous behaviours and activities sent in from different sources.
Unified endpoint management
Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) stands for the integration and eventual evolution of MDM and EMM. It has been used to provide solutions to the challenges linked with desktop, IoT, or any other enterprise mobile device security types.
Many enterprises use UEM solutions to secure and control their entire IT environment and endpoints, such as tablets, desktops, laptops, and smartphones. You can also use these solutions for securing personal data, content, and apps of users, as well as the company’s data.
A robust UEM system allows businesses to choose scalable solutions based on their needs. Mature UEM solutions are supported by AI and machine learning which can help a company’s IT department when it is necessary to make quick security decisions based on analytics and real-time data.
Best Practices In Mobile Device Management
You may use a cloud-based or on-premises model for your MDM solution. However, what is considered necessary is that your MDM solution should allow your company to see endpoints, the users, and everything in between. In any good mobile device management software solution, it is important that:
- Time is saved
- Improved efficiency
- Increased production is increased
- Improved security
The following are additional best practices you need to consider when selecting an MDM solution:
The reporting and inventory tool should consolidate all enrolled devices and associated data into easily accessible reports. The generation of daily reports should be automatic without manual input.
You considered having the feature for searching for anything and everything in a cloud-based solution. Having access to devices, integrations, apps, reports, and secure documents is an important aspect any company that needs this solution should always consider.
Contact A Mobile Device Management Expert
It is now the norm and standard practice for businesses to use mobile devices to check various business applications and platforms. They are also often used to participate in voice or video calls and gain access to different business networks.
The employees use the devices managed by a company to access the company’s data or files. Therefore, Mobile Device Management is a worthy security investment that you need to consider if you haven’t already.
A stolen or lost mobile device directly accessing the company’s network could cause a severe security breach. With the MDM solution, it is not easy to compromise a stolen or lost mobile device with private information, such as personal medical information and customers’ credit card numbers.
Potential costly fees and compliance violation-related lawsuits may follow, which are things you want to avoid in your business.
Speak With An MDM Services Expert
Suppose you require mobile device management services to keep your devices safe and secure. In that case, contact experts in MDM services. They can help you manage and monitor all of your devices from a single platform, making it easy to keep track of your devices and their data. They can also help you troubleshoot and manage any problems that may arise with your devices.