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While business technology security has always been an important consideration for all companies who need to protect their proprietary information and employees, the increased use of mobile and cloud computing has radically expanded the potential for vulnerabilities. Every IT department or business IT services company must find ways to grant employees flexibility — so they can be accessible to address critical issues and also benefit from increased productivity — while also ensuring security for all data and across all devices. This is where mobile device management platforms enter the discussion.

Mobile Device Management

What is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?

Mobile device management is the centralized control of mobile devices, which include desktop computers, laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets. This control contains monitoring the devices and implementing security measures across all device activities, usually employing a third-party product for its administration. It centers around protecting data storage and transfer; this means it must be involved at every step of data handling, from the creation of a file through every movement it makes, whether for storage, handling, or sharing. It must be able to detect, diagnose, and resolve any potential threats at any time of day or device location. The capacity to administer this effectively across all of the devices and employees implicated in an organization’s daily activities is not trivial.

With 70% of the global workforce estimated to work remotely at least once a week, major technology players have developed mobile device management platforms to make this easy and practical.

What Are The Uses of Mobile Device Management Platforms?

There are significant, positive consequences to utilizing MDMs that all have effects on a business’ bottom line.

  • Security management – Enforce lock-code policies and manage device encryption from a centralized location using mobile device management platforms. Instead of adding another task for employees company-wide and then having to follow-up regarding its completion, use mobile device management platforms to enforce security settings — down to knowing exactly when it did get done.
  • Maintains inventory – Built-in to mobile device management platforms is a detailed inventory of all of a business’ devices, down to the level of possession, location, and usage. While a business IT services company or department can keep running stock on supplies, this can help with everything from allocating resources through transitioning into new hardware or software — and because it is automated, staff and personnel are free to get other work done.
  • Swiftly address maintenance concerns – Since MDMs allow for remote access of devices, IT can temporarily seize them. IT can then make sure that all software is up to date per industry standards and security needs.
  • Promotes flexibility in device usage – Helping employees access business data flexibly allows them to work as needed. Although there is a need to reinforce a culture that encourages downtime from work to make sure this flexibility does not become destructive, helping make it easier to work on-the-go can empower employees to step out while also staying on top of any urgent issues that may arise.

Mobile device management platforms allow for consistent delivery of service and security management while also monitoring accountability on all levels of the company, from individual employees through IT.

What Are Characteristics of Good Mobile Device Management Platforms?

Every business IT services company or department can make a recommendation for mobile device management platforms. We are proud to announce that since October 2018, we have acquired Cisco Meraki WiFi, routers and switching. Additionally, we now carry Aruba and Meraki WiFi, while we also carry both Meraki and Sophos routing, switching and MDM.

Cisco is the global networking industry leader. Their Meraki centralized MDM solution provides an easy-to-use dashboard that can accommodate not just all mobile devices but also works across both Macs and PCs, and its ease-of-use facilitates maximum compliance. It offers a simple snapshot of every device’s status, with vital information including location, connectivity, and safety restriction enforcement. Frequently, unauthorized device access is achieved through device hijacking via sneaky downloads. While one way to start blocking this is through limiting download capacity across all users, additional steps to protect data handled by each device — such as limiting screenshots and restricting camera use — can give an added layer of security, which Meraki does.

Meraki also delivers a solution to manage network settings and files remotely. Network access may be remotely configured through parameters ranging from security protocols through authentication requirements. Automatic reporting helps make device accountability rigorous yet a seamless part of IT workflow. One reason for the selection of Meraki over competitors is its unique device fingerprinting technology that enables rapid detection of known devices and enables permissions accordingly.

Sophos is a reliable alternative if more advanced or flexible security configuration is needed while offering a few specific benefits that are critical to the businesses that use them. Remote maintenance of Office 365 can be done in the same dashboard as the other security controls as opposed to in a separate app. Sophos accommodates a range of container deployment solutions and a self-service module that allows users to enroll their personal and business devices without consulting IT, facilitating maximum compliance and security.