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What is Mobile Device Management?

What is mobile device management?

The goal of mobile device management (MDM) is to improve device security in order to prevent organizational cyber breaches. Not only are cell phones considered mobile devices, the term ‘mobile devices’ also refers to tablets, certain types of computers, and IoT devices. Because there are many types of mobile devices that can be hacked, organizations must take a comprehensive approach to mobile device management.

How does mobile device management work? 

Mobile device management is usually competed via endpoint software. This software typically resides on a server that’s located on prem or in the cloud.

What are the benefits of mobile device management?

  • Mobile device management allows IT personnel to not only ensure workforce and workplace security, but it also allows an administrator to lock or wipe a device in the event of theft or loss. In the past, incidents of unrecoverable devices loaded with corporate data have resulted in compliance violations, lawsuits, and other damages.
  • Mobile device management software cuts down on repetitive configuration and testing tasks. In turn, staff can focus on higher level priorities.
  • With mobile device management, you can easily scale services and manage enterprise growth. If dozens of employees are hired on at once, providing them with secure mobile IT solutions will not present any challenges.

How can organizations manage mobile devices that they do not own?

This issue has presented numerous challenges for organizations, especially as 90% of enterprises have bring your own device (BYOD) policies.  It is incumbent upon organizations to balance IT security needs with employees’ rights to privacy.

Certain MDM software can enable IT departments to secure and monitor work-related apps while ignoring non-work related apps. Other MDM software allows users to maintain two different profiles on their phones; one for work, which is secured by the IT department, and one for personal use, which is not visible to IT teams.

What are the downsides of mobile device management?

  • Not all employees are comfortable with the idea of mobile device management solutions. Employees may not want their employer to retain access to data, login history, and GPS related information, as in some cases both personal and company-related activities are routed through the same VPN. More modern mobile device management solutions may be able to negate this issue, but a felt sense of an ‘invasion of privacy’ may still remain.
  • Employees may own older devices that are not compatible with new applications. If new applications are installed, they can cause crashes and other issues. In turn, this can lead to reduced productivity, and lower levels of employee engagement.

Interested in more information on mobile device management? Read this whitepaper, titled “Mobile Management Solutions are Not Security: Use the Best Tools to Secure Mobile Devices.”