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.
But 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 Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms - to simplify the management headache, while protecting from today's cyber security threats.
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.
1. 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.
2. 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, 24/7. Significantly improving mobile security - and solving the management headache.
› Remote management of mobiles
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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
› Remote locate, lock and wipe
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.
5. 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.
› Device enrolment in minutes
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!
About IBM MaaS360
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 Watson, IBM's acclaimed cognitive AI engine 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.
Active monitoring for malware and other threats
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.
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About Comtact Ltd.
Comtact Ltd. is a government-approved Cyber Security and IT Managed Service Provider, supporting clients 24/7 from our ISO27001-accredited UK Security Operations Centre (SOC).
Located at the heart of a high security, controlled-access Tier 3 data centre, Comtact's state-of-the-art UK Cyber Defence Centre (SOC) targets, hunts & disrupts hacker behaviour, as part of a multi-layered security defence, to help secure some of the UK's leading organisations.