Add laptops into the equation and a high proportion of the computing assets of a business may now be mobile. But having computing devices in a mobile format, not tied to the company network all the time, presents a number of challenges in terms of managing and securing those devices effectively.
Businesses need to be able to control what software is used on their devices, ensure that corporate information is handled securely, and take steps to protect information if a device is ever lost or stolen. This is not only important for the performance of the business but for compliance with legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II).
Since most companies will have a range of devices from different suppliers that use different operating systems, managing them all can be tricky. In recognition of this problem, many service providers and technology companies have developed solutions to deliver the benefits of mobile device management (MDM) to their users.
As one of the biggest names in technology, you’d expect IBM MaaS360 to offer a full range of features and it doesn’t disappoint. It can be used on Android, iOS, macOS and Windows devices while allowing administrators to manage all of them from a single location.
MaaS360 can be used on specialist devices such as rugged systems designed for use in difficult environments, and kiosk systems for use in retail and other industries. It also supports Internet of Things (IoT) devices that use APIs for their management, as well as the devices that are used to manage the IoT devices and the gateways they attach to. MaaS360 uses IBM’s Watson AI (artificial intelligence) technology, allowing it to deliver useful insights on device usage patterns and provide security comparisons with other similar businesses, based on the data collected from the cloud.
Another supplier that recognises the benefits of mobile device management is O2. Not only does its solution offer you the ability to keep your devices secure, it can safely wipe them if they are lost or stolen. Administrators can control which apps are downloaded on the device as well as track and monitor employee data use. This makes it extremely easy to keep track of who is doing what and monitor the billing for your business.
O2’s suite also makes it possible to deliver over-the-air updates to your applications and operating systems, ensuring essential business systems are kept up to date and secure. Mobile malware can be detected and fixed, and WiFi settings can be controlled, ensuring that users can only connect via a secure network. All this is backed by a dedicated support team to ensure the smooth running of the service.
As one of the UK’s largest mobile service providers, EE’s offering includes a Docs@work feature that allows businesses to manage and control access to content for mobile users, along with a Web @ Work feature providing similar control over web browsing and ensuring that browsing is secure. It can provide secure access to company intranets when accessing them remotely, and restrict functions such as cut and paste from being used on web pages in order to guard against data leakage.
Read more about the tools you need to create an effective mobile workforce.
Device management features ensure that company security policies can be enforced across all devices. Administrators can deploy and remove applications remotely in addition to blocking access to company data for devices that have been compromised; devices can be configured to both personal and business data, and lost or stolen devices can be remotely locked and/or wiped.
Additionally, applications can be managed via a dedicated enterprise app store which enables administrators to configure, update and remove them remotely. Devices can also be configured so that data may only be shared between secure apps. In addition, access to documents is through a secure content hub and documents can be deleted remotely.
There’s a lot to consider when putting a mobile device management strategy in place. It’s important to look at the needs of your business and choose the technology that best meets suits your needs. There are many solutions available, and while they will all offer essential functions such as the ability to wipe devices remotely and control which apps are being used, some will have specific features that may address your business needs. It’s therefore worth taking some time to explore the different options available to you. Learn more about mobile device management.