With an ever-growing dependence on mobile/smart devices to facilitate business processes and rapid prevalence of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, organisations today have realised the importance of effectively managing these devices to keep the confidential business data running through them safe from cybersecurity threats.
This is where a powerful Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy comes into the picture.
A Radicati Group report forecasts the skyrocketing revenues for the MDM or EMM (enterprise mobility management) market expected to reach $3.3 billion annually by the year 2021.
In this post, we are going to explore what constitutes a good Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy, why is it needed, and what the organisation can do to devise and implement it effectively.
What is Mobile Device Management?
When it comes to company size, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have embraced BYOD culture faster as compared to large organisations.
A study conducted on SMEs indicates that 61 per cent of organisations have a BYOD policy in place. However, 56 per cent of them also admitted that they had not implemented any mobile device management (MDM) strategies to keep their corporate data secure.
So what exactly is MDM?
Mobile Device Management (MDM), now known as Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), is essentially a system that allows organisations to let their employees use different mobile devices and applications securely. The objective of a good MDM strategy is to ensure the secure handling of corporate data by the company’s mobile device users.
An MDM solution can manage devices running on various operating systems including Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and Chrome OS. MDM strategies give the power to manage mobile phones, tablets, smart devices and kiosk devices from one centralised system.
The Need for a Strong MDM Strategy
A lot of organisations nowadays are giving the freedom of working from home to their employees. Others are even inclined towards the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend where the employees are encouraged to bring their own device to work.
But when it comes to using their mobile devices at work and giving access to employers, not many employees are willing to do that due to security threats and concerns about data privacy. Further, the reliance on cloud technology in today’s business environment further complicates the problem as it increases the points of access.
With the BYOD market all set to hit a compound annual growth rate of close to 17 per cent by 2023, businesses need to find a balance between data security and privacy by implementing smart and scalable MDM strategies.
How Can Organisations Devise a Robust MDM Strategy?
Here are some tips and strategies that enterprises can use to ensure that their mobile device security is on point with the help of a mobile device management system.
a) Start by identifying your organisational goals and requirements
A powerful MDM strategy should be designed and implemented with the end goal of adding value to the company and its employees. With this in mind, the MDM strategy should align the organisational & business goals, work culture, employee adaptiveness, specific enterprise challenges and customer expectations. Here are some of the questions that can help you with the process –
- What do you want to choose from a BYOD (bring your own device), kiosk lockdown mode, CYOD (choose your own device), or COPE (corporate-owned, personally-enabled) policy at your workplace?
- What kind of security, network and monitoring capabilities do you need to build the MDM strategy based on the above choice?
Once you establish overall requirements for mobile devices as an organisation, it becomes easier to build a strategy around those requirements and goals.
b) Select a suitable MDM platform
There are plenty of mobile device management platforms available in the market today. The key is to pick a platform that is flexible enough to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong.
Here is a quick checklist of questions to help you make a better decision-
- Whether to opt for cloud or non-cloud version?
The cloud version is generally limited in the number of mobile devices supported, which actually helps the SMEs get access to management capabilities at an affordable price. Further, the solution should offer seamless user experience in terms of tracking task progress, using enterprise apps and accessing enterprise content without worrying about security.
- How to create your own policies?
A good MDM platform should offer some kind of a policy to define access settings and monitor usage patterns, company-wise.
- How can you protect data when the device is lost or stolen?
The MDM solution you choose should give the power to your IT team to selectively wipe the device (to save personal data when corporate data is removed) along with remotely locking the lost/stolen device so that cybercriminals can’t get into the email, contact lists, or other saved documents.
c) Develop a comprehensive security solution
A comprehensive and all-inclusive security solution is synonymous with a good MDM strategy.
Having extensive mobile device security in place with various EMM tools that permit or restrict access to company resources depending on the network used by an employee allows organisations to remain continually protected against cybersecurity threats and from being hacked. This also helps in monitoring all the devices against all such threats on an automated basis.
d) Consider endpoint management for efficient business processes
With the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), there is a sharp rise in the number of tech endpoints required to be managed across an organisation. Apart from mobile devices, smartphones, computers and tablets, enterprises also need to consider strategies to incorporate the new tech endpoints into their mobile device management strategy.
The best MDM strategy allows the SMEs to deal IoT-related work tasks such as downloading bio-digital data from sensors or accessing operational data from industrial equipment to make business processes more secure, smooth, and efficient.
The objective of a Mobile Device Management strategy is primarily to create a flexible work environment for employees and empower them to be efficient and productive. To get an MDM deployment right, it is absolutely critical to developing a detailed and strategic plan for implementation. A good MDM strategy is one that takes into account the scopes and limitations of the company.
The above-mentioned tips and strategies make it easier to deploy MDM solutions, saving you a lot of time and money during implementation as well as your day-to-day business operations.
Learn more cybersecurity tips for your digital firm here.