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    Mobile Device Management: Best Practices to Succeed

    You can have the world’s best pantry with exotic ingredients at your disposal. But if you don’t know how to make the most of the ingredients, you can never create that winning dish. For organizations, imagine the pantry as a tech stack and SaaS solutions as ingredients. The solutions won’t deliver the desired results if an organization struggles to get the best out of its SaaS arsenal. 

    One SaaS solution that has come a long way in terms of market developments and product enhancements has to be Mobile Device Management (MDM). And like any other software, there are certain MDM best practices for organizations. When followed, these practices can make a lot of difference in the desired outcome of the MDM solution you choose.

    MDM Best Practices
    Best Practices for Mobile Device Management

    This blog will outline some of the best practices for mobile device management from an organizational and IT perspective.

    The Growing MDM Adoption

    Accessing corporate data from a device using the public Wi-Fi of your favorite neighborhood diner may seem like a harmless run-on-the-mill scenario. Unsuspecting, unintentional app downloads or a random click on a phishing link won’t signal the end of the world. Rightly so, but sometimes, such actions can have serious implications on businesses—financial and regulatory.

    As cybercriminals increasingly target mobile devices to access and steal sensitive corporate data, the need for an MDM solution becomes imperative. No wonder the global MDM market is expected to reach USD 22 billion1 by 2027 at a CAGR of 26.1% (2022–2027). And it’s not just device or data security. Of course, they are super important, but there’s more to MDM than that. 

    Let’s get to the helm of affairs and list down the MDM best practices that can help organizations plan and implement better and identify any existing gaps.

    Determine Your Mobility Needs

    Some organizations tend to make one big mistake when choosing and implementing an MDM solution. It’s the cardinal mistake of not knowing the mobile or mobility requirements clearly. Organizations often choose an MDM solution prematurely, failing to assess their complete mobile needs first.

    For instance, imagine a scenario where the sales VP prioritizes mobile access to a CRM software or app for their team’s productivity. The IT department, under pressure, might choose an MDM based solely on its CRM compatibility, overlooking the bigger picture. 

    As time passes and the needs of other departments become apparent, the limitations of the existing MDM solution become evident. The organization must now choose between replacing the MDM entirely (option a) or implementing additional point solutions to address the evolving requirements (option b). Both are far from ideal options.

    Selecting the perfect MDM solution requires careful consideration, as a “one-size-fits-all” approach isn’t feasible. 

    Here’s a strategic framework to guide your evaluation process:

    Device Ecosystem: Identify the specific devices (e.g., laptops, tablets, desktops, smartphones) and operating systems (Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux)) you need to manage. Do you require cross-platform support for a diverse environment?

    Device Volume: Determine the number of devices you’ll be overseeing. This will influence the solution’s scalability and cost.

    Internal Connectivity: Assess the current devices connected within your network. This helps tailor the solution to your existing infrastructure.

    MDM Challenges: Pinpoint the specific challenges you aim to address with MDM. Are you prioritizing security, application management, or improved device control?

    Solution Type: Decide whether a comprehensive MDM solution or an open-source option better aligns with your needs and budget.

    By following the above framework, you can effectively narrow down potential providers and choose the MDM solution that best fits your unique requirements.

    Look for World-Class Tech Support

    Let’s face it. Learning and getting accustomed to an MDM solution is not quite like quantum theory. But then, it’s no cakewalk either. Some solutions might have a steep learning curve, while others might not. Tech support, however, is non-negotiable. In fact, look for world-class tech support. The MDM vendor must have ample help docs and educational resources for your IT to learn the product and execute it as intended.

    When evaluating MDM solutions on the grounds of tech support, prioritize those offering:

    Direct support: Look for a dedicated help desk number or live chat feature for immediate assistance from support representatives.

    Comprehensive resources: A good MDM solution should provide user manuals, instructional videos, and best practice guides for implementing MDM effectively.

    Remember, customer or tech support isn’t a one-off thing—it’s ongoing. It’s something you will need every time you face challenges in using the MDM solution. Therefore, look for vendors who are determined to offer the best tech support, day in and day out. 

    Automate as Much as You Can

    An MDM solution should be able to simplify IT tasks, not complicate them. The capability to automate mundane tasks is a must. Managing mobile devices can be a complex task, but automation can ease the burden on your IT team while upholding robust security practices. 

    Regardless of the number of devices you oversee, prioritize an MDM platform that offers these key functionalities:

    Automated Reporting: Gain valuable insights and identify potential security risks through comprehensive reports generated automatically for your diverse device fleets.

    Automated Alerts: Mitigate security concerns promptly with automated alerts notifying you of any device non-compliance with your MDM and corporate policies.

    Effortless Remote Management: Ensure data security by enabling the platform to remotely lock compromised devices or wipe data when necessary, all with a user-friendly interface. 

    Prioritize Patch Management

    The consequences of letting unpatched vulnerabilities meander freely within a device ecosystem can be dire. From ransomware attacks to Trojan infiltrations, unpatched vulnerabilities can cause a lot of damage to your corporate data and devices. That’s what makes cross-OS automated patch management a key MDM feature to look for in a solution and implement it as a best practice.

    Delaying the update of mobile device operating systems increases the likelihood of hackers exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities. Visualize it this way: for every security patch released, there exist numerous devices compromised due to software vulnerabilities. Therefore, using an outdated OS can be likened to knowingly letting an inflammable chemical open in a lab when there’s safe storage for it. 

    Maintaining an up-to-date operating system for both on-premise and cloud-based MDM solutions is crucial for seamless operations. Regular updates grant access to the latest MDM functionalities and enhance the productivity of end-users. Thus, it’s critical to opt for an MDM solution that offers automated patch management. Meanwhile, for optimal security, establish policies that require employees to keep their devices updated. 

    Secure Access to Resources

    The pace of technological growth is immense, and disruptions are constant. So what seemed a perfect tech solution some years ago may not be the same at present. That’s the classic case for MDM solutions that haven’t evolved in terms of features and capabilities. One such capability revolves around identity and access management (IAM).

    Cybercrimes or external threats will never cease to exist. Yet, internal or insider threats loom large too. A report suggests that 52%2 of organizations admit employees are a major weak link in IT security. Hence, securing access to business resources becomes vital. 

    This is 2024, and the MDM solutions you evaluate must have some degree of IAM capabilities. It translates into ensuring the right employees are accessing the right device from the right place and at the right time. Without protocols like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and conditional access, there’s a grave danger of corporate data being misused, especially when devices are shared among employees.

    Create Your App & Content Roadmap

    Control the applications and content accessible on your enterprise devices and networks. Enable employees to use only those applications critical for their tasks while restricting access to non-essential ones. Most MDM solutions offer app and content management features, including application blocking and web content filtering. It’s up to the organization to create its app and content roadmap for various teams regarding what’s needed and what’s not. 

    Implementing this strategy reduces the risk of breaches in corporate security policies and enhances the efficiency of the MDM solution. Furthermore, enforce regular updates for commonly used applications to optimize their performance. Look for solutions that offer effortless third-party app patching

    Develop and Enforce Robust Policies

    Strong mobile device management policies are crucial. These policies establish clear guidelines for deploying devices, granting network access to mobile employees, and defining user permissions. MDM policy in a broader spectrum can encompass data security policy, acceptable use policy (AUP), passcode policy, and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. 

    Make sure the policy covers the following:

    • Authorized Devices: Defines approved device categories allowed to connect to the corporate network.
    • Security Protocols: Outlines secure access protocols and operational standards for mobile devices.
    • Acceptable Use Policy: Establishes acceptable usage guidelines for accessing corporate systems with mobile devices.
    • BYOD: Sets restrictions and guidelines for personal device usage within the organization.
    • Offboarding Procedures: Details the process for disconnecting personal devices from corporate systems upon employee departure.

    It’s equally crucial for organizations to communicate the policies in a transparent manner. Outcomes for non-compliance or policy violations must be straightforward. It can range from an official warning to something more severe, even termination of employment. 

    Back Up Data, Monitor Devices, Train End Users

    Well, let’s wrap the best practices up with things so obvious that they are often overlooked. 

    Data Backup: Having a data backup makes it significantly easier to recover and access critical data if your device is lost or stolen. Cloud-based MDM solutions simplify data backup and allow you to automate backups and securely store your company’s essential data and files in the cloud.

    Monitor Device Activity: A report3 suggests that employees spend an average of 56 minutes every workday on non-work-related tasks using their smartphones. In addition, there are other concerns like data costs, which make device monitoring via MDM essential. In BYOD environments, IT can have total control over the work apps and data on personal mobile devices. 

    Keep Training Employees: It’s essential for organizations to convey the MDM practices to their employees and train them time and again on the same. The training must center around device and data security. For new employees, this training has to be included in their orientation program.

    Get Scalefusion to Get the Best of MDM

    An MDM solution like Scalefusion ticks all the boxes regarding all the best practices outlined in this blog. Scalefusion can be the one-stop solution for all your mobile device management needs, from best-in-class tech support to security features, with flexible pricing and scalability.

    Whether your device fleet is single-OS-based or heterogeneous, Scalefusion has got the back of your IT, all from a user-friendly interface and centralized console. It’s time to create that winning device management and security dish using Scalefusion as your key ingredient! 

    Schedule a demo with our experts to explore all that Scalefusion has to offer and see the MDM best practices set in motion. Start a 14-day free trial now!

    Reference:

    1. MarketsandMarkets
    2. Kaspersky
    3. Zippia

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.

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