What are MDM Solutions and How to Choose the Best Solution
Mobile device management (MDM) solutions can make sure that all mobile devices in your company are secure and reliable. This buying guide will help you choose the right software solution for your business.
Mobile Device Management and Enterprise Mobility Management
Businesses need to improve their support infrastructure quickly due to the rapid growth of user-owned and corporate-owned devices at work. Mobile device management (MDM), the main software solution to manage and secure company data and apps that are used on mobile devices within your organization, is essential. MDM platforms provide a central interface for you to access the data on both your company’s mobile devices and your employees’ personal devices. These devices are usually enrolled in the platform at the time that staff members are hired.
Enterprise mobility management (EMM), a form of endpoint management, is another type. It usually refers to a wider range of tools. EMM solutions include MDM, mobile app management (MAM), and mobile content management(MCM) capabilities. Each of these addresses specific concerns about managing mobile devices, apps, and content. EMM solutions also include productivity apps, an app store, an email manager, reporting, and analytics. Some products offer identity and access management (IAM), single-sign-on, and threat protection.
These are just a few of the financial advantages of EMM and MDM tools.
- Remote monitoring, configuration, and deployment of apps are all part of enhanced IT access control
- Enhanced security, including policy enforcement, blacklists/whitelists, and password management
- Data protection, including remote lock/wipe capabilities for lost and stolen devices
- Reporting and logging capabilities to ensure compliance
- Data protection, backup, and restore functionality for corporate information
- Increased productivity for end-users
Also read: Why Mobile Accounting Is the Future
Find the right mobile device management solution for your business
MDM vendors typically charge per device annually. However, some MDM vendors offer a per-user pricing option. This allows you to purchase unlimited devices for a lower price but provides unlimited access. This is a great option for companies that support “bring your device” (BYOD), programs, or mixed environments.
Several vendors have additional support/maintenance/software update fees that are separate from the device/user fees. Some vendors also offer an annual support/maintenance fee and a perpetual device fee. Many MDM solutions can be included in larger bundles or packages that may include a separate license.
The first thing you should do is request a quote from a vendor. Next, perform a cost analysis that takes into consideration not only the MDM fees, and the support costs involved in implementing and maintaining the solution. Think about the requirements of the implementation and whether the vendor can help. Calculate how many people will be needed in each position during the transition, and for how long. Add these costs to your analysis.
Advanced EMM platforms with an extensive suite of endpoint management tools will have more tiered plans. They may work with you to provide a quote tailored to your specific needs.
It is important to understand your company’s requirements and use cases when shopping for an MDM/EMM solution. You should be aware of the requirements and features that you need to ensure you are satisfied with the service you choose.
Platforms and operating systems that are supported
MDM suites typically support a subset or all of the available operating systems and platforms. The operating system is the software that the device uses. The platform refers to the type of devices such as a tablet computer, mobile phone, or laptop computer.
Android, iOS (Apple), and Windows Mobile are the most popular mobile OS options. Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux are the most popular computer OS options. You can choose which devices you allow into your network based on what devices your employees use most often.
MDM vendors all boast their security features. However, there are some essential security features that you should recognize and demand your company’s safety.
- Password protection is mandatory
- Jailbreak detection
- Remote access
- Remote lock
- Device encryption
- Data encryption
- Malware detection
- VPN configuration and management
- Wi-Fi configuration and management
Enterprise app integration
It is not a good idea to buy a tool that isn’t compatible with your existing tools. When it comes to integration with existing enterprise applications such as Active Directory/LDAP, Microsoft Exchange, web-based mail, cloud services, backup/restore, etc., you need to look at your MDM prospects carefully.
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If you don’t have the resources or the desire to offer 24/7 support for your mobile users, You should check to see if your MDM suite includes a self-service portal and help desk, and multi-language support.
Reporting and management features
You should research the features and benefits of MDM suites before you buy. Administrators will require a strong management interface to monitor, patch, and track managed devices. You should search for device-level analytics and alerting options, as well as a dashboard that allows you to monitor the health and number of MDM projects. You should check the availability of third-party management software and whether it is available.
To purchase an efficient MDM solution, you need to “try before buying.” Many vendors offer limited demo software that you can download to test the product. To ensure that the suite’s features are fully tested, you should include any technical staff members. There are many MDM suites available that will provide you with the security you require, allow you to give your employees the freedom you want, and offer the features that you value. You will only need to do some research and experimentation to find the best MDM suite for your company.
State Of The Industry
Recent changes in the field of mobility management will have an impact on your business. First, notebook computers have been added to the definition of mobile devices, two-in-one devices, and wearable technology. If the item is too heavy or not attached to a rack or desk, It can and should be managed under mobile management. Enterprise access and containerized productivity apps, from a feature- and function standpoint, are driving EMM to purchase decisions and not augmenting them as an added value.
Second, IT has forced incumbent enterprise applications to become mobile-friendly and be replaced with newer, often cheaper, cloud-based solutions. Mobile application management is the umbrella organization. Nearly every tool has a native application. A web browser link is available to secure access to enterprise data.
Finally, anywhere access to content has changed as well, morphing into enterprise file sync share (EFSS). This applies to EMM in the sense of MCM. MCM, as an integral component of EMM suites, is disrupting the document management system but also SharePoint and default storage to public cloud apps (such as Salesforce). It is also displacing the outdated shared-drive model.
MDM is Important in a Local World
MDM is an essential component of any company’s security system, but it is even more important in the age of distributed workforces. More companies are offering hybrid or fully remote work arrangements. MDM gives employees peace of mind knowing that company data remains safe, no matter where employees are working.
Employees Benefit from ever-evolving mobile technology. The ability to access files of a company, Intranet, email, SharePoint, and many other features are available to users. A proper MDM program will help. Your company’s IT department can centrally manage all devices in the event of problems, including viruses and malware. An example is if an employee’s phone gets lost. MDM systems are able to wipe the phone and create a new device with backup data.
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What can you do with MDM?
Tracking mobile devices: Asset management
A detailed inventory of the devices that are connected to your network is essential for managing mobile devices within your company. You can identify the types and number of devices in your network using inventory and asset management software. Asset management features include the ability to register devices and query for device configuration. Reports on the status of devices should also be possible. You should be able to generate reports that show the number of registered mobile devices, the types of devices present, operating systems, and patch levels. A mobile asset inventory can be used to support many other functions necessary for managing security.
Screening apps: Whitelisting/blacklisting
Administrators can limit administrator privileges to allow system administrators to easily manage applications installed on company laptops and workstations. It is harder to achieve comparable control with mobile devices. Different platforms have different features and functionality. You should look for an MDM platform that offers a common set of management features across all platforms.
One of these common features should include the ability to limit the number of apps that are used on managed mobile devices. Whitelisting allows the creation of a list of mobile apps that are acceptable. App stores are an option in some MDM systems that allow you to store the appropriate apps for your users.MAM is a separate category of software; if your MDM platform doesn’t have an app store you can still get this functionality from another application.
Blacklisting allows you to limit the use of applications that have not been approved. This is helpful if you need to identify an app that shouldn’t be on a device accessing your corporate network. These include those that collect information about individuals or companies unrelated to the app’s purpose.
Keeping data confidential: Encryption
Tablets and smartphones offer the advantage of being able to access and save documents from anywhere, including outside the office. Office productivity apps can offer much of the functionality of spreadsheets and word processors on a desktop. This makes it even more attractive to download corporate information to your mobile device. Mobile devices could be stolen or lost, which can lead to confidential information being leaked.
MDM systems allow you to create an encryption policy for data on mobile devices. This policy should include strong encryption and key control. Remember that data should be encrypted both during transmission (“data moving”) and once it is stored (“data at rest”) Make sure you test all your critical apps using device encryption. Before data can be programmatically manipulated, or viewed, it must first be decrypted. Some app functionality could be disrupted if a device is encrypted.
Locking down devices: Controlling device configurations
Mobile devices have many features, including Bluetooth connectivity, location tracking and Wi-Fi network access, and other functions. While these features can be very useful, security-conscious IT professionals may find them more vulnerable than helpful. MDM systems should be able to remotely control configurations and even remotely wipe a stolen or lost device.
Enforcing rules: Policy management
An effective sound mobile device management strategy that inc describes the requirements and configurations that employees must meet for their mobile devices. These policies can be used to cover a wide range of controls such as encryption, password requirements, disabling Bluetooth, WiFi, and location services, and also the need for device passwords. Many organizations support multiple mobile device platforms. The policy enforcement mechanism should work across all systems.
MDM solutions can reduce security risks associated with the use of smartphones and tablets in your business. To protect your information assets, you should look for support in asset management, app management, and encryption.
MDM and BYOD
Companies that need employees to be mobile can save money by adopting BYOD policies. It is crucial to understand BYOD policies and how they impact an organization’s infrastructure before a company adopts employee-owned devices that enable it to make the most of cloud computers, smartphones, and superphones.
According to Global Industry Analysts Inc, Market forecasts predict that the BYOD/enterprise mobility market will reach $157 billion in 2026. Experts estimate that the market will reach $26 billion in 2022. The large increase in remote work is the reason for this. Bitglass reports that more than 85 percent of companies had adopted BYOD policies within the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Implementing a BYOD program raises questions about Long-term vendor plans, maintenance, procurement, application development, and data ownership. Security concerns regarding BYOD are often not given enough attention. This could lead to a potentially catastrophic exposure of sensitive information.
These are the best practices for BYOD programs, security concerns, and other matters.
- Policy Review: While existing security policies might need to be tweaked, there should be clear guidelines for how current policies can be applied to personal mobile devices and apps.
- Expectations that are realistic: Using a mobile device privately is quite different than using a mobile device in a company. Your organization’s security will be compromised by employees who use their own technology.
- Platform support: It is difficult to imagine a mobile platform environment that is more fragmented than it is today, and this is unlikely to change any time soon. Keep in mind that different features may be supported by devices other than Apple’s iPhone/iPad. Your organization will need to keep a list of supported devices.
- Application policy: A policy for an application can be blacklisting or whitelisting software, in conjunction with containers that allow third-party software to be run. It is important to know which software is allowed and which isn’t. Although it can take a lot of time and resources to create an application policy, it will be the core of your security policy. Apps that allow auditing, reporting, and central management should only be permitted.
- Evaluation for MDM Software: MDM can help with many security issues. However, it will take time to evaluate properly. MDM software is the foundation of your BYOD program. It includes a set of basic secure applications that you don’t have to worry about such as email and remote access. There are also policies to regulate internet data traffic.
- PIN and encryption mandatory: PINs are the first layer of security on a device. All data on the device should also be encrypted by default.
- Continuous education and training: Anyone providing or using their own devices is, by default and as such, a risk factor. Education that addresses all risks is essential and gives the knowledge to participate in a responsible BYOD program. Data is still at risk from accidental data loss. This risk can be mitigated by education and training.
As you develop and implement your BYOD program, your policy will evolve. BYOD usage can have legal consequences. Consider consulting your legal team and outside counsel. All employees who have access to a BYOD program should agree to its terms.