Mobile Device Management
Mobile Device Management - What is it and why should you consider it for your business?
Before we properly begin let us first look at the basics, in case you are unfamiliar with the subject. Those that are more in the know can afford to skip down a few paragraphs.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) is defined by those fine folks at Wikipedia as:
“…the administration of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers and laptops. MDM is usually implemented with the use of a third party product that has management features for particular vendors of mobile devices.”
So, essentially MDM concerns any device used within the workplace that doesn’t permanently live there. This could include company owned devices, as well as those devices personally owned by staff members.
You may have heard the term: ‘Bring Your Own Device’ or BYOD. If you haven’t, don’t worry, those nice people at Wikipedia are on hand to help us again:
“BYOD refers to being allowed to use one's personally owned device, rather than being required to use an officially provided device.”
The best example we can use to illustrate BYOD is personal mobile phones. Some companies allow personal mobiles to be used during break times- they may even allow them to access the company’s wireless network, or a specially set-up guest network. Additionally, there are those companies that allow the use of their employees’ own equipment to access the corporate network. This can be a good way of reducing equipment costs; however, it presents increased security risks. This is where an MDM solution should be considered and deployed.
An MDM solution is used by IT departments to allow employees the option of securely accessing the corporate network with their own equipment, regardless of whether they are in the office or not.
Over recent years, we have seen how technology has shifted away from the traditional desktop PCs used in the office, to the proliferation of other devices- such as laptops, tablets, hybrids and smartphones. The ultimate aim of MDM is to ensure that the personal equipment used remains as secure and as functional as possible, whilst maintaining the integrity of your network and its data.
With that in mind, what should you be looking at in terms of an MDM solution? Here a few of the service’s ‘must haves.’
- Be cloud-based so that automatic updates can be performed easily
- Automated 24/7 monitoring
- The ability to grow as your business grows
- The ability to remotely disconnect, configure and delete corporate data from users’ devices
- The ability to log and report events (for use with IT standards compliance purposes)
Okay, we’ve seen what we should be looking for from the service, but what are the major benefits?
MDM allows you to easily monitor and manage portable devices regardless of where they are located. You can update critical security patches of not only device firmware, but also apps that you allow on your network- you can even configure the security of the devices that your users use, remotely. In essence, you can ensure that any remote device used has the same level of security protection as any other device permanently located at your premises.
Traditionally, any device that wasn’t owned by the company would have been unrecognised and rejected by the network. However, a successful MDM strategy will allow you to quickly and easily accept new devices on your network and automatically put all the requisite security functions in place to protect your network and its data. This then allows your employees to use equipment that is familiar to them and has the potential to save you money on costly technology purchases.
Centrally controlled device updates
Most people have probably been guilty of putting off software updates from time-to-time; however, if this were the case for one of your remote users, then that laxity could potentially jeopardise the security of your entire network. Hackers could seize upon unpatched or non-updated software in order to exploit vulnerabilities or gain access to confidential information. Using MDM, you can centrally control updates and apply system changes to all devices, quickly and easily.
Increased network security
Ensuring best practices with MDM are maintained, means the security of your network is increased. As we’ve already mentioned, the automatic updating possibilities and pre-requisite security measures will play a huge part in this. You can also use MDM to encrypt your corporate information and build a barrier between the personal and corporate information contained on your users’ devices. Additionally, MDM allows you to remotely locate, lock and wipe data from a device in order to protect sensitive information, should the device be lost or stolen. Or, should a staff member leave your organisation suddenly.
Reduction in IT needs
Using an MDM platform should significantly reduce your IT administration needs as most of the time-consuming and labour-intensive processes usually required for looking after a host of mobile devices, are automated. Thus freeing you up to look at other projects within your business.
Simpler regulatory compliance
MDM allows you to manage compliance initiatives from one unified console, thus making it far simpler to adhere to any legal requirements your company may be subject to.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits an MDM solution could bring to your business, please call us on 01905 758900 or drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to hear from you.