Ever wondered how information like the population of cities and countries is right at our fingertips and in a jiffy? All thanks to census bureaus. Census bureaus are integral to gauging the economic and social progress of countries. They are organizations that gather, share and maintain high-quality citizen data. Before the sweeping digital tides, census bureaus depended on oceans of paperwork and manual documentation. Those days, even though around two decades or so ago, sound primitive today. That’s how digital technologies have rapidly influenced our lives—all for the better, well, mostly so!
Census bureaus or agencies have different names in different countries, but their work remains similar, and we will use ‘census bureau’ for consistency. These bureaus are government organizations where the adoption of digital technologies has traditionally been slow. But not anymore. As most businesses embrace digital transformation, there’s no reason census bureaus should shy away. After all, these bureaus are keepers of extremely critical data that needs as good a security posture as any organization’s data does. Not to mention the importance of new-age devices that make data collection convenient.
The role of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones in census is big. These devices that census teams carry need to be managed and monitored. This is where it’s high time for census bureaus to adopt, in fact, adore mobile device management (MDM). Why? The reasons are plenty, and everything links to data and device security. Let’s get started!
Mobile devices must be at the heart of data collection in census bureaus if they want to take digitalization strides. This data contains demographic details of citizens, including personal identifiable information (PII). Almost every country today has laws and regulations on data privacy, and PII tops the list.
Hence, data security measures in mobile devices of census teams must be sharp and effective. Compliance is a crucial determinant of PII privacy, and to ensure regulations are in place, Scalefusion MDM is GDPR, SOC 2 and HIPAA-compliant.
An MDM solution can help IT professionals in census bureaus secure on-field mobile devices and their data. IT admins of these bureaus can enforce strict passcode and compliance policies on all the enrolled, managed devices. They can enable two- or multifactor authentication (2FA/MFA) for secure device access and set up rules for password strength, complexity and change intervals. These policies can be applied to device groups based on device type, form and employee roles.
If you think that’s all MDM software offers. Hold that thought! We’re getting warmed up on the security posture front.
IT heads at census bureaus can leverage an MDM solution to manage and control many device features and specifications. These can range from external peripherals to internal storage. For example, features like camera, screenshot, volume, etc., can be allowed or blocked as required. Taking data security a step further, IT admins can whitelist or blacklist websites and apps on devices to avoid phishing and malware intrusions. Thus, only census-related or trusted websites and apps will run on employee devices.
We’re still in the security seas, and cybersecurity professionals will know that ransomware can be nasty for data security. More so because the detection of ransomware can take time. It’s a Bermuda Triangle of sorts for PII stored on devices. It can also become national security news if a country’s census bureau experiences a ransomware attack. Getting the jitters? A vital feature of an MDM solution is that it allows IT teams to stay on top of the patch management game—be it apps (native or third-party) or OS. Timely patches eliminate the grave risk of ransomware attacks that use unpatched vulnerabilities as beachhead.
An MDM solution can provide census bureaus with a comprehensive data and device security shield to ensure citizen data is safe and protected 24*7.
Census bureau employees involved in data collection are always on-field and on the move with their devices. This mobile, on-field workforce also has timelines to keep up to. Therefore, their whereabouts are of significance. IT admins in census bureaus can use an MDM solution to track the locations of employee devices. If there’s any unusual movement or diversion, admins can notify that particular device and get an employee’s attention.
A laudable MDM software feature is setting geofences on mobile devices. The on-field census bureau workforce must follow the assigned grids that a city or state is divided into. Geofencing using an MDM solution is the perfect means to ensure that employees are never off the grid they need to be. IT admins get the notification on the MDM console when an employee or device moves out of a geofenced grid. An immediate call-response mechanism can be set as a protocol in such cases.
Both location tracking and geofencing features help census bureaus oversee device and employee movements to ensure adherence to timelines for on-time data collection and submission. Any SOS cases can also be dealt with the right and instant reaction. These two MDM features are absolute winners for census bureaus.
Census bureau’s on-field employees don’t always have the time or chance to check what’s going on with their mission-critical apps’ data storage or version. As the amount of data on bureau devices can be heavy, it can sometimes hinder device or app performance, which, in turn, can stall productivity. An MDM solution lets IT admins keep a check on app and device vitals like storage, battery, connectivity, etc. When employees know they don’t need to bother too much about their app and device vitals, they can focus more on the task. Now, that sure does tick the productivity box.
For census teams, the availability of the right information at the right time is a pressing case. Often, these teams need to collaborate through sharing files, which may not be feasible in a static, one-on-one way. IT teams can push and share important documents to an entire device group or fleet (per use case) using an MDM solution. As this content is on the cloud, it doesn’t interfere with device storage, and any authorized personnel with internet can access the content.
We will revisit where we started—security. While this case is a contingency one, it’s essential nevertheless as we should always ‘plan for the best, prepare for the worst’. Loss or theft of mobile devices is not unchartered territory for organizations, and census bureaus can’t be any different. In such unfortunate circumstances, an MDM solution can help in damage control. IT admins can remotely lock lost or stolen census bureau devices and wipe off their sensitive data as soon as an employee reports the incident. An underlined MDM feature to ensure no data is compromised or misused.
Data security is non-negotiable, and Scalefusion can help IT teams at census bureaus fortify their data and device security with a host of intuitive features.
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