Working from mobile devices outside of the office – be that a mobile phone, tablet, or laptops – has become the norm, especially in light of the pandemic and employees working from home. While companies appreciate the uptick in productivity (up to 34%), there are concerns about how mobile devices affect a company’s security. Enter Mobile Device Management (MDM), the managing, monitoring, and securing mobile devices such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones used by employees.
MDM solutions provide centralized control over the mobile devices in your organization and help ensure security and compliance. The following are common features you can expect from a reliable MDM software solution:
- Security and encryption: Your MDM solution should complement your overall enterprise security efforts with data encryption that protects a device’s data (including email messages and attachments)
- Usage monitoring: For company-owned devices, usage monitoring is a helpful feature to set appropriate bandwidth limits, monitor data usage, and reserve bandwidth for specific applications
- Reporting: Reports can give admins insight into device status, flag outdated security patches, note non-compliant activity, and even detect suspicious user behavior
- Remote wipe: Perhaps the most useful tool, remote wipe provides the ability to delete business data on any device with an agent installed on it, no matter where the device is in the event of major security breaches, missing devices, or terminated employees
- Compliance support: With the compliance support tool, admins can configure a rule to automatically lock a device if a user’s device or actions are non-compliant
- Device inventory/tracking: This gives an overview of all mobile devices across your company as well as their whereabouts at any given time
BEST PRACTICES FOR MOBILE DEVICE MANAGEMENT
Assess and understand your mobile landscape
The first step towards implementing mobile device management is to understand what kind of mobile devices your employees will use. You’ll also need to consider factors such as which parts of your network, systems, internal directories, or databases the mobile devices will access.
Consider a third-party management solution
Assess your MDM goals and compare them to the features offered with the most reliable MDM solutions available. You should also consider working closely with a managed service provider to help you execute the rollout of the solution especially if you have a limited IT department.
Establish an acceptable use policy
As your team members continue to work from home, establishing an acceptable use policy will help to guide the extent to which they can use their mobile devices to interact with your business network and systems. An acceptable use policy usually pertains to your business network and hardware, for instance, the policy could include rules about streaming, permissible apps, data usage, and minimum security requirements while using corporate mobile devices.
Integrations will make MDM easy
Your MDM solution should integrate seamlessly with existing platforms. For example, if you integrate your MDM with network carriers, you’ll be able to monitor data usage and perhaps set appropriate limits. Integrations with device manufacturer solutions like Android Work Profiles, Samsung Knox, and Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) should also be considered when shopping for an MDM vendor.
Automation and reporting
To save time and improve your data protection, your MDM solution should be able to automate repetitive tasks and provide detailed reports as required.
Some actions or processes that can be automated or reported include:
- Location reporting
- Alerts and reports about non-compliant devices
- Remedial steps like device lock, data wipe, and account suspension
Mobile devices offer immense benefits especially in terms of increased productivity, and with the proper MDM solution, managing mobile devices can be a breeze.
Check back for our next post on Mobile Application Management.
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