Today’s employees are more comfortable using their own devices for both work and personal use and the employers too are supporting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy as it offers more convenience and flexibility, which increases productivity and efficiency of their workforce. But the plethora of devices that can now connect to the secure network of an organization, and varied applications and operating systems running on them bring into picture inherent privacy concerns and fraud risks. These risks include loss, misuse, and theft of sensitive corporate data, and accidental or malicious access to corporate applications.
To mitigate these risks organizations are embracing Mobile Device Management software so that they can manage, monitor, and secure employee-owned devices that are being used in the workplace, without compromising user privacy. A good MDM solution can manage a variety of devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets, wearables etc. running on different platforms for safe, authentic and secure access to your critical business data and applications.
Mobile Device Management provides for secure monitoring and management of mobile devices that have been registered as part of an organization’s network. Most MDM software provides an interface that gives your IT team a complete oversight of resources that a device is accessing, help monitor usage and malware, perform management and distribution of apps, and configure security settings for an efficient and secure mobile workforce. In the case of BYOD, MDM solutions offer secure containers to separate work and private apps and data, and perform selective and remote wiping of corporate data, if needed.
In multiple ways actually! Let us go through some major points stated below.
Apt device and user management
An ideal MDM solution provides a comprehensive suite that allows the company IT admin to enroll users having multiple devices running on different operating systems like Android, iOS, Windows etc. The company IT admin registers the devices to the Mobile Device Management software, deploy and configure the security standards and protocols and the devices are ready to be centrally managed with the MDM interface. The MDM software enables the company to add as many users as it can through individual or bulk enrolment. The basic requirement for your device is its MDM compatibility, which means it should be capable to run enterprise applications.
Strengthens corporate data security
The central concern of bringing any device to an organizations’ ecosystem is security – security from malicious software, unauthorized access, exposure to vulnerabilities like trojans, keyloggers, phishing, connecting to an unsecured open network, abuse of corporate data and so on. Another concern is the loss of data in an event of device crash or device theft. MDM solution(s) provide for a variety of security features on devices that are registered with it:
• Remote configuration and monitoring of corporate and employee-owned devices
• Allow total control to the company IT over corporate data that is gathered on user-owned personal devices
• Security policy enforcement like passwords, passcodes, blacklists, disablement of data copying
• Containerization separates corporate from personal data and erases corporate data remotely if needed
• Geo-fencing to restrict access to corporate data and applications based on locations
• Tracking and detecting incidents of compliance violations
• Backup and restore functionality to recover data from device malfunction
• Jailbreaking and rooting alerts in case a user attempts to bypass security restrictions
Ensures careful user privacy and data separation
With round the clock monitoring, employees may feel stifled while using their devices for work-related purposes. It is thus important to ensure the privacy of employees while they are using the devices for their personal use and maintain corporate data security at the same time. MDM solution(s) offer features that segregate business and personal data:
• Restricting corporate app access from unsafe networks and locations
• Allowing per-app control and settings
• Secure and separate containers for sensitive data and content
• Segmentation of personal and corporate data
• Selective data wiping in case of device loss or in case of employee leaves the company
Enhances employee convenience and productivity
BYOD policies are a hit with organizations as well as employees as they bring more flexibility, create a comfortable work environment for employees, and are less resource intensive for the organization. A successful BYOD program accelerates employee performance, engagement, and efficiency, which in turn proves beneficial in ensuring better customer experience with faster resolution. Mobile device management provides capabilities to enhance productivity by:
• Faster and centralized work app platform deployment
• Integration with enterprise tools on BYOD enabled devices
• Bulk device-enrolment and registration of users while saving on time and effort
• Enterprise apps enable employees to collaborate and communicate remotely
• Flexibility to work from anywhere and anytime within a secured and protected setting
• Remote troubleshooting from anywhere, anytime to minimize work time loss
Empowers the company to adopt an agile mobile strategy
The ability to work at any time and from any place is a huge motivational factor that makes an organization an attractive employer. An employee can answer an urgent email, schedule her meetings while travelling, make an important presentation when she is flying. Effective MDM solutions support functionalities to not only secure corporate data with standard IT regulations but also track devices through GPS or Wi-Fi or IP addresses, allowing the admin to identify and control compromised network connections, or even locate lost devices and simultaneously allowing the employees to work on their device wherever they want to.
With organizations embracing BYOD programs, mobile device management is indispensable for any business. But an MDM solution is as good as its implementation. It must meet the requirements related to company’s security policies and needs to be updated and prepared for every new challenge in the industry, should support a comprehensive and simple interface to control and monitor all devices in the BYOD ecosystem and contribute to a productive work environment for the employees.
Vandita is a passionate writer and IT enthusiast. By profession, she is a Computer Lecturer at the University of Delhi and has previously worked as a Software Engineer with Aricent Technologies.