Mobile Device Management (MDM) revolves around deploying, securing, monitoring, integrating and managing not just mobile devices - smartphones & tablets - but also laptops, desktops and even IoT devices in the workplace. Instead of Mobile Device Management, you should actually think of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM).
With the rapid rise in mobile security threats, together with the increased compliance requirements from GDPR, every company should have some form of mobile management strategy. With the difficulty and management time involved in enforcing policy, it is understandable why so many organisations, big and small are choosing MDM platforms, like IBM's leading MaaS360 - to dramatically simplify the management headache, while protecting from today and tomorrow's security threats at the same time.
What is Mobile Device Management?
MDM software allows management and distribution of apps, configuration and security settings, monitoring for malware, patching firmware and apps, containerisation of business data - really, anything administrators require to manage, monitor and secure their mobile workforce - all from a unified cloud-based dashboard.
When an organisation needs to get a handle on employees’ smartphone and tablet use, an MDM platform will be the first, and most essential technology to deploy; it’s a great starting point and plays an important role in the overall enterprise mobile management strategy.
Technology has evolved significantly in recent years, and it’s why we’re seeing the rapid advancements of mobile phones, tablets and other devices being used not just when out of the office, but as a preference and convenience over PCs.
A full suite of management & security tools
The MDM platform your company selects should include a full suite of management and security tools, for any device - iOS, macOS, Android or Windows - whether a company-owned or employee-owned device (BYOD - Bring Your Own Device). Important capabilities should include:
- Rapidly device enrolment, 'Over-the-Air'
- Integration of devices with Enterprise systems
- Central management of devices
- Remote app and configuration management
- Geo-fencing rules, based on device location
- AI engine to identify and action productivity & security improvements
- Identify management
- Patch and update management
- Proactively secure monitoring for malware and security threats
- Secure container for sensitive document and content
- Comprehensive monitoring and reporting functions
- Integration with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes etc.
- Mobile expense management, to avoid excess bill charges
- Individual or bulk device enrolment
- Registering of BYOD devices
- Secure mobile mail
- Ability to segment personal and corporate data- and selectively wipe corporate data
- GDPR compliance rules to prevent loss of PII
All of the benefits focus on protecting the integrity of the company network and the sensitive data it contains. Let’s take a look at the unmistakable benefits of implementing an MDM platform.
Easily manage your devices
Being able to manage users and their devices remotely is a massive benefit. Update critical security patches of firmware, apps, or update device security configuration - in bulk, across 100's of devices, in minutes - remotely. By remotely managing your mobile workforce, you can attain the same level of oversight as you would you with your network endpoints - to quickly gain control of all devices, 24x7x365. Significantly improving mobile security - and solving the management headache.
Remote management of mobile devices also provides the ability to remotely quarantine, disable, or remove any unauthorised applications or users, ensuring your data is always secure, such as when employees leave. In the fast-paced world we operate in today, any avoidable, time-consuming activity is lost productivity, as well as distracting for one's primary job function.
You can no longer afford to have technology issues responded to in hours or days - the expectation is that IT support can react within minutes. An MDM platform provides that ability - a immediate and visible advantage to every user - from the CEO down.
Keeps applications and data secure
An MDM platform like IBM's MaaS360 makes sure that all of your systems and software are up-to-date and patched to combat any identified security vulnerabilities. These updates can be centrally controlled and audited, so not only protects your devices and data, but it’s also a requirement for government compliance.
Similarly, both business and public apps can be centrally managed, with required apps installed upon configuration, or policy-based rules to govern permitted or prohibited apps.
This can be broken down even further, as the platform provides role-based access management and the ability to remove or disable an application, if a process changes.
Embrace BYOD with MDM
While businesses usually stay away from any device that isn’t owned by the company, they have been quick to embrace BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), with big cost savings and productivity benefits - yet with minimal management requirement. However, as the power of devices has increased, so has the amount of company data stored outside of the traditional security perimeter.
With the introduction of GDPR, as well as the ever-changing security threats from mobile malware and data loss, organisations have realised that they require a dedicated BYOD policy, with effective management and security protocols in place.
IBM's MaaS360 allows business and personal data to be segmented and containerised on BYOD devices, so you can have the best of both worlds - effective corporate security and management control, without the upfront cost of large numbers of devices. And when an employee leaves, you can selectively remove all corporate information - remotely.
Automated device registration
MDM solutions are generally equipped to be able to automatically support new device registrations. The way this is usually done is the user or owner of a specific device can be sent an email that allows them to register the device so remote configuration of Wi-Fi setting, business applications and user policies can be applied. Enrolment takes minutes, as well as saving significant amounts of on-going management time.
Saving time with device registration also allows your IT department to focus elsewhere, as it minimises direct involvement in the set-up process. A clear dashboard showing the status of every device make management simple - and saves a lot of unnecessary hassle!
Which Mobile Device Management platform can help my business?
While there a number of MDM platforms available for businesses, only IBM's MaaS360 platform provides the full support to every device platform - from iOS, macOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows PC - and even Blackberry devices.
Plus, only MaaS360 incorporates a cognitive AI engine, Watson Advisor, which continuously monitors the health of your mobile estate, reporting on security and efficiency improvements with actionable and clickable intelligence - saving literally 10's of hours, every week.
MaaS360 has a secure container which holds all corporate files separately from the rest of the device’s application, which means employees can work securely without worrying about data and device security being compromised.
The platform’s container app ensures that corporate data is encrypted and stored away from other applications, so that IT only manages the contents of a particular folder or file, without glancing through an employee’s private files, if an employee-owned (BYOD) device.
MaaS360 provides users with the tools they require to do their job - securely and efficiently. Restricting use of for example, a file sharing utility like Dropbox, only serves to drive 'shadow IT' - users will always seek to overcome troublesome or tedious policies. By giving users all the tools they require, there is no need to seek alternative solutions - ultimately improving security.
Active monitoring for malware and other threats
In addition to the significant management benefits, the most important aspect of implementing an MDM platform is not having to worry about data being compromised. IBM's Watson Advisor cognitive AI engine continuously monitors for malware, jailbroken devices, and other mobile security vulnerabilities. Infected devices can be quickly isolated and locked, until the threat is neutralised and removed from the device - all performed remotely.
Companies need to utilise a trusted enterprise management solution that makes working in a mobile word simpler and safer. Use a powerful MDM platform without compromising the user experience, data security or privacy.
Need help securing mobile device data?
Operating 24x7x365, Comtact Ltd. is the UK's leading MaaS360 specialists, supporting some of the UK's leading organisations from our state-of-the-art UK NOC/SOC. With a dedicated team of mobile device management specialists, offering 24/7 support, there is no better place to start securing your mobile workforce.
To find out more, why not sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of MaaS360, or learn from the experts and read about best practice deployment of an MDM platform - and avoid the common mistakes. Speak to our experts about mobile security today.