CEO of code proofis a cybersecurity company that specializes in providing enterprises with modern, easy-to-use mobile device management software.
Mobile device management (MDM) software helps streamline many aspects of device management, including application deployment, updates and configurations, system updates, security management, content management, and compliance enforcement.
By automating time-consuming IT tasks, MDM enables organizations to focus on more important goals and objectives. The following information describes the benefits, choices, and implementation of MDM for those considering using it in their organization.
Understand the benefits of MDM
Traditionally, cyberthreats such as viruses, malware and ransomware primarily targeted PCs and laptops. However, there are now variants of malware and viruses that specifically target devices running Android and iOS operating systems. These operating systems are continuously updated to address new threats, but that alone is not enough.
The shift to mobile devices and away from desktop devices is becoming more pronounced. According to the Verizon Mobile Security Index 2022 report, nearly half of survey participants said their organizations experienced security incidents caused by mobile devices resulting in data loss, downtime, or other negative impact.
A modern MDM platform provides additional cybersecurity measures to protect your IT infrastructure by automating security patch updates, application updates, and compliance enforcement. Additionally, limiting the use of company-owned devices to business-related apps and restricting internet access to authorized websites can provide stronger defenses against various cyberthreats.
Application and content management
MDM software simplifies the process of deploying, updating, and configuring apps on multiple devices, increases productivity by eliminating the need for employees to manually update apps, and minimizes calls to the IT help desk. The aim is to keep it to a minimum. Additionally, IT administrators can distribute custom content, web links, and more to devices.
MDM helps ensure compliance with various regulations that oversee the security of personal health information, such as HIPAA and the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) by U.S. shipping companies.
Physical device security
If a device is lost or stolen, you can use MDM to remotely lock the device, track its physical location, and remotely wipe it if necessary. This helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and use of the device for malicious activities such as phishing.
When deciding to implement MDM, organizations should consider the purpose of the device, potential security risks, data sensitivity, compliance regulations, and the IT resources needed to manage it. Mobile operating systems generally offer stronger data security features and often lower costs and maintenance burdens than traditional PC systems. Securing company-owned devices with her cloud-based MDM system is usually easier than managing her BYOD policies across different platforms.
Differences between Android and iOS
Android devices come with the Android Enterprise framework that provides various enterprise mobility management APIs focused on preventing data leaks. During the provisioning phase, MDM software can transform consumer phones into business-ready devices by enabling enterprise-grade secure Android controls.
To purchase Apple devices for business use, a company must first register with the Apple ABM portal and obtain an ABM Organization ID. Devices purchased with this ID will be supervised and shipped ready for MDM enrollment. The rest of the MDM setup process can be completed remotely (also known as “zero touch”). A legacy iOS device can also be manually added to his ABM using the Apple Configurator tool.
iOS, macOS, and Windows have built-in MDM capabilities, so you don’t need an additional MDM app on your device. In contrast, Android devices typically require an MDM agent app to be installed during provisioning. The MDM Agent app communicates with the MDM server to retrieve and apply policies and configurations.
Provisioning profiles are a key feature of most MDM software. These profiles are important to consider and include.
1. Company owned and personally available
Company-owned devices used by employees for both personal and work use are managed by MDM and cannot be turned off by the user. Business apps and data are separate and cannot be shared with personal apps and data. These devices can be tracked and remotely wiped by IT administrators.
2. Company Owned, Business Only
These devices may only be used for business purposes. All apps are managed and updated by IT administrators, and app downloads and removal are restricted or blocked. The end user cannot override her MDM controls.
3. Company-owned, kiosk-ready
These devices are highly restricted and configured for only one or a few apps. All OEM preloaded apps will be erased and all other device functionality will be blocked. This configuration is ideal for POS transactions, digital signage, medical monitoring, and surveys.
4. Bring your own device
The device has two profiles. The primary profile contains the device owner’s personal apps, photos, contacts, and email, but is not managed or visible to IT administrators. A temporary workspace container is established during registration to hold business work apps and contacts.
IT admins only have control over the workspace container, using strong passwords and requiring the ability to delete the contents of the container if necessary. In this configuration, the device is not trackable and IT administrators have no control over the device’s camera, settings, or accounts. End user can remove MDM (workspace) container and work apps at any time without the need to factory reset the device.
It’s important for organizations to carefully choose an MDM software that meets their needs and offers the customization and management options they need. Different MDM solutions offer different enrollment options that can be tailored to the device user and intended use. However, switching to another of his MDM software can be difficult, especially if a large number of devices are already enrolled with a particular vendor.
To prevent this, we recommend testing each MDM software under consideration on a small number of devices before making a final decision. This gives organizations a clear understanding of the features and capabilities of each solution and ensures that the software they choose fits their specific requirements.
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