The Mobile Device Management Saga

By | July 27, 2013

Wikipedia defines Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions as solutions that secure, monitors and supports mobile devices, deployed across various Mobile service providers and operators. This domain of technology sweeps its charms over Smartphones, Tablets, Tablet Computers, mobile printers and various other devices dependent on On-The-Air (OTA) technology. The primary intent of this model is to obtain optimum balance between functionality and security cost effectively. The technology focuses primarily on BYOD era where employees of an organization use Company owned devices as well as personal devices for office work. This story takes you through various features of MDM, and various platforms on which MDM’s are deployed the top 5 providers of MDM solutions in the world, and lots more.

MDM solutions and its need

A survey conducted by Redshift assessed the human factor like attitude, fear and the future hope towards using mobile devices in the workplace. The summary of the survey revealed that the trend of using mobile devices has increased thus, creating a need for MDM solutions. The primary need for such management is securing corporate data. A new device (personal) in the network would call for stricter compliance rules and policies. Managing these tasks manually is a tedious in itself for the IT team. Cases of rising thefts of smartphones and tablets cause all kinds of businesses to deploy any kind of MDM solution within the workplace. Employees have shown that working remotely on smart devices can be done without any loss of productivity from their end. Thus management also feels that it’s OK to allow smart phones, tablets and similar devices in the work network. The technology brings in various business advantages to think about, few of which to mention are as follows:

  1. Reduced operational costs (on equipment, office space etc.)
  2. Satisfied employees who provide more work efficiency with their devices
  3. The IT team has less burden in managing devices

When considering new technology/implementation, the risk factors associated with it cannot be ignored. Various risk factors that come wrapped with BYOD era are listed as follows:

  1. BYOD devices are not centrally managed by the IT team, thus having minimal compliance and policy control over them.
  2. All BYODs like smartphones and tablets don’t come with pre-installed security solutions there by increasing the threat vectors to an organizations corporate network. Black-hat hackers have used this as a key to open the doors of an organization’s network. The attacks can be sent over an SMS, MMS or even through email attachments.
  3. Locating lost devices/stolen devices will be a nightmare with little or no control over the data present in it.
  4. Tracking of applications installed on the device when accessing corporate network cannot be addressed.
  5. Monitoring of devices accessing the corporate networks remotely is impossible without any MDM implementation.

Read the full article at: InfosecInstitute

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