Locate, Lock & Wipe
Most of us are surrounded by mobile devices. Unfortunately, these devices sometimes get lost or stolen. This is where a Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool can really help. Deploying MDM software across an organization’s mobile devices makes a lot of sense because it allows the IT team to not only locate a particular device, but also to lock and even wipe its contents so that any important data doesn’t fall into potentially dangerous hands. If you’re an iPhone user, you may be very familiar with a tool offered to consumers by Apple, called “Find My iPhone.” This takes a very similar approach to locating and locking a device using the owner’s authorized Apple ID.
The popularity of MDM software rose at the same time as the growth in BYOD in the workplace. This BYOD trend triggered genuine concerns around security, connectivity, privacy and device management. From the IT team’s perspective, it is also difficult to troubleshoot issues and maintain a consistent level of service when employees’ devices run on different carrier services and different operating systems that may not be updated with the latest versions or security patches. In this kind of environment, MDM tools gave the IT team the ability to monitor, manage, and secure company-owned laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
Not the Only Game in Town
Competition in the device management space is incredibly fierce. Most SMBs today view device management as a critical part of their security practice, but that doesn’t mean they all take the same approach. Starting with the original Mobile Device Management tools, new categories have appeared on the market in the past few years, such as Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) offering a different take on data security, remote access and device policies.
Here are four of the most common device management strategies.
1) Mobile Device Management (MDM)
MDM software allows the IT department to track, manage and secure an employee- or corporate-owned device. The MDM tool helps to configure Wi-Fi access and facilitate the installation and management of enterprise apps. One of the most famous MDM solutions comes from Airwatch, although the company now positions itself as an EMM vendor.
2) Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
UEM software enables an IT team to remotely control, modify and secure mobile devices, desktops and IoT devices. UEMs from companies such as MobileIron and IBM’s MaaS360 can manage devices across various operating systems, lock hardware from tampering, and secure data.
3) Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)
EMM software allows a business to remotely configure and manage devices. EMMs are often considered to be an umbrella tool that incorporates MDM software functionality while also offering hardware and application inventory management, OS configuration management, the ability to push applications and application updates, policy management, troubleshooting as well as the location and remote wiping features.
4) Mobile Application Management (MAM)
MAM is another subset of Enterprise Mobility Management but focuses primarily on the ability to establish management and policy controls around the usage and access granted to individual applications. MAM tools are most commonly used by organizations that do not install an MDM profile on each user’s device.
What to Look for in an MDM Solution
If you’ve decided that your organization does need an MDM or one of the other tools in the device management space, here are a few things to consider.
Does the MDM offer:
- Remote configuration and device monitoring compatible with many devices and operating systems
- Password policy management
- Remote location, locking and wiping of devices
- Remote disconnection or disabling of unauthorized applications
- Geofencing, which enables application and data restrictions based on location
- Logging and reporting functionality for compliance
- Device backup and recovery
- Alerts for attempted jailbreaking or rooting
- Automatic pushing of OTA updates
- Scalability, making it easy to add or remove users
- Cloud-based, on-prem or hybrid
- Easy integration with existing security and administrative controls
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, so do your own due diligence and think of the long-term impacts to workflow and employee productivity. There are many solutions available today, so choosing one that helps rather than hinders employees should always be the first major consideration.
To see what other things may be frustrating your mobile and remote workers, check out NetMotion’s Mobile Employee Experience Report.