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Mobile Management Solutions are not Security


Mobile management solutions were never designed to protect devices against sophisticated cyber attacks. The operative word with these solutions has always been the word ‘management’. Security was never their focus, however many businesses mistakenly bought these expensive solutions with the belief that they were locking down the devices. For more than a decade enterprises have deployed mobile management solutions to accommodate and offer basic protections for mobile programs, both in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) ownership models as well as in corporate owned scenarios. But the security provided by these solutions was always quite limited. Threat actors quickly identified mobile devices as easy targets for exploits and malware, even with mobile management solutions in place.

In this paper we will review the use cases addressed by mobile management solutions, and why they are not built to protect fleets of mobile devices from threats that put enterprise data at risk. We will also elaborate on how to effectively address the need for mobile security and implement a Zero Trust, comprehensive mobile security strategy to remain protected from the ever-evolving mobile threat landscape.

Mobile Management is Not Security

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions, or their predecessors Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions, were designed to help mobilize businesses by streamlining processes, managing device lifecycles, and creating a managed workspace on smartphones and tablets. Today UEM solutions have evolved into consolidated solutions that work with other endpoints beyond mobile devices, including PCs. UEMs enforce some device-level policies to maintain a basic hygiene, such as device encryption, remote wipe, and in some cases, have a basic jailbreak/root detection function too. But these basic features don’t provide the protection needed to withstand even the most basic mobile malware attack. UEMs do not scan for mobile-related threats like malicious apps, vulnerable operating systems, network-based attacks, or protect users against phishing and other social engineering attacks. As a result, users and organizations remain exposed to credential theft, data leakage, or device takeover.

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