What Makes a Good Mobile Device Management System?
Managing devices is a top priority for SMBs today. Discover the areas a good mobile device management system covers.
8 minute read
Oct 30, 2023
Businesses rely on all sorts of technology in the modern era, including a massive suite of mobile devices and smart tech. With the number of smart devices that organizations use every day, having a mobile device management platform is a necessary component of a company's IT and cybersecurity strategy.
A mobile device management platform allows an organization to assign security measures and monitor the devices regularly used on their network. This is important as technology becomes further integrated into operations, leading to an increasing number of endpoints.
A mobile device management system will improve your visibility into the organization’s endpoints and network vulnerabilities.
Implementing a proper and comprehensive mobile device management policy is important for the modern business. Learn what goes into a full provisioning policy in Impact’s Mobile Device Provisioning Checklist.
What Is the Purpose of Mobile Device Management Software?
In order to understand the purpose of mobile device management software, you need to know exactly what MDM is. Mobile device management is a way to secure and monitor all of the devices on your network.
There are two important reasons that you need to be able to monitor network-enabled devices:
To substantially lower the likelihood of being attacked by cybercriminals.
To uniformly provision, standardize, and deploy software on mobile devices, just as you would a desktop in the office.
Cybersecurity is an important issue for many businesses in today’s day and age, especially as cyberattacks continue to rise year-after-year, becoming more sophisticated in the process. MDM is an attractive platform for these companies because it allows them to build additional monitoring and security practices into their routine operations.
With uniform security measures applied to the devices on your network, you can ensure that all of the devices with network access are protected and free from large security gaps. You’ll also be able to keep these security software's regularly updated as to avoid future vulnerabilities going unpatched.
What Does Your Mobile Device Management System Need?
There are three major components of a strong mobile device management system: provisioning, configuring, and monitoring. Let’s take a deeper look at these aspects of MDM.
Provisioning is the phase during which your IT team will set up devices so that they’re ready to use. This will typically involve installing the right software and registering the correct certificates for use on the network.
A quality strategy for securing your devices in the office begins with a strong policy for provisioning them.
Provisioning is increasingly important when you consider that there are already over 15 billion smart devices connected and considered part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and that number is projected to grow to over 19 billion devices by 2025.
These devices include, but are not limited to, smartphones, internet-connected printers, and display screens or game tables.
So many devices are connected to company networks without any kind of provisioning (or a poorly thought-out policy) that organizations are struggling to ensure device and data security.
Particularly, this has been a rising struggle in the cybersecurity space as operational technology becomes more prevalent. Operational technology works best across an open network with very little segmentation. However, this is in almost direct contrast with cybersecurity best practices which encourage more network segmentation and stronger authorization protocols.
Not only is there contrast between operational tech and cybersecurity best practices, but these devices are often ill-equipped with security defenses as it is. To make matters worse, smart devices often have their security updates neglected, making them even more vulnerable.
If employees are using smart devices without any sort of mobile device management system in place, your organization is opening itself up to a significant vulnerability.
Manual provisioning, which is still very common among businesses, is time-consuming and tedious for the IT teams. It forces them to spend hours of their day making sure each and every device is up and running correctly—or worse still, relying on employees to do it themselves.
A quality MDM solution should allow IT to set up and define specific profiles companywide, letting the cloud automatically push the settings and requirements to devices as they connect to the network.
This should include a variety of settings such as wireless connectivity, VPN access, and other network security measures that need to be established during provisioning.
A good system for monitoring your devices is crucial.
As we’ve discussed above, the Internet of Things, and the sheer volume of smart technology and network-enabled devices is growing at record rates. Not only that, but there is a much larger group of professionals working in flexible environments.
Being able to monitor the devices on your network will help the experts on your team more quickly identify unusual and suspicious activity so you can start isolation and neutralization procedures.
Management in one dashboard
When businesses ask what is the purpose of mobile device management software, ease of use is one of the biggest advantages.
Like ourselves, most of our clients have a whole range of devices using a number of varying operating systems. iOS, Android, Windows, all under one network.
Most MDMs will offer the ability to manage different device systems, but in the modern business world, it’s very likely that you need an MDM system that will allow you to manage PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and the network at-large from a centralized dashboard.
Pushing updates, deploying software and apps, enforcing security policies, and troubleshooting—all these aspects of monitoring are made simpler and more effective by using a mobile device management system that utilizes a central management platform.
Finally, the third most important part of your device management solution: making sure your business is safe from cyberattacks, data breaches, and spyware.
With a growing number of endpoints that businesses need to protect, defend, and monitor, a mobile device management system is crucial to supplementing the security of your devices, network, and data.
Security policy enforcement
An MDM solution should allow your IT team (or your MSP) to be able to enforce your security policy effectively.
Through the central management program, every device in your network can be aligned with your policy by restricting access to certain apps, domain names, or installations, and you can even ensure the correct password and encryption protocols are being followed.
They also have the ability to revoke access to the company network should a device bypass the standard security settings. This would typically be the case if an end user disabled the antivirus or uninstalled a necessary security measure. In these instances, a good MDM will automatically pick up on it and withdraw the certificate until the issue is remedied.
Bring your own device (BYOD) support can also be integrated into the mobile device management system, allowing extensive oversight of any device connecting to the company network.
This grants significant advantages in extreme cases. For example, if an employee reports a device stolen, your IT team should have the ability to remote wipe it so as to avoid the possibility of any data being siphoned.
There is a swath of mobile device management systems on the market today, and with good reason; the market for securing and monitoring devices for businesses has expanded enormously in recent years.
For SMBs, the pressure to ensure that devices under their network are handled properly is higher than ever, particularly as the consequences of being a victim of a breach are a heavy burden for most.
Getting an MDM solution that can get the job done is critical, and one that offers provisioning, monitoring, and deeper security measures not just adequately, but expertly, is something worth considering for businesses of all sizes.
Having a mobile device management policy that covers all your mobile security needs is a crucial part of your overarching cybersecurity strategy. Review Impact’s Mobile Device Provisioning Checklist for an idea of what your MDM policy should include.