Having an IT expert watch over your employees’ armada of tablets and smartphones is highly advised. This is because as soon as their iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries connect to WiFi or the mobile web -- which is basically every moment they’re awake -- their devices are vulnerable to attack.
Hackers work long hours, too. This results in continual innovations in how to breach your cybersecurity protections and steal data, especially if your company has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy allowing employees to use their personal gadgets for work purposes. According to Trend Micro, around 50% of BYOD companies have experienced a data breach.
But closely managing your company’s fleet of mobile devices will not only keep them more secure, but also ensure you know who is using which device, how well they’re working, how much you’re spending, and whether you’ve deleted company data from employees’ BYOD devices when they leave.
In other words, there are numerous reasons to invest in an “MDM.”
What is an MDM?
A Mobile Device Management (MDM) application is software that makes it easy for small- and medium-sized-business owners to procure, deploy, track, and secure their teams’ smartphones, PDAs, tablets, and laptops.
As an inventory management tool, MDMs show you all your devices’ procurement, deployment, and performance data in one centralized, specially designed application. This is much more effective than trying to track physical assets in tedious spreadsheets that are hard to keep up to date.
Robust MDMs from reputable application developers like Microsoft, Citrix, or VMware will track employee enrollment and distribution of devices, which software is installed on each, their hardware specs and warranty statuses, and detailed usage history. Having all this data helps businesses steer clear of devices that have records of poor performance and longevity.
Even more important are the security features intrinsic in MDM platforms. They provide an array of protections that allow you to configure and enforce protocols across your entire fleet, including:
- Setting strict PIN/Password requirements for employees so only they can access their devices
- Blocking downloads of certain applications so employees can’t add dangerous programs
- Encrypting data so nothing transmitted over public WiFi can be hacked and breached
- Setting alerts for whenever a “jailbroken” device is detected on your network
This last feature is critical. Jailbreaking is a maneuver that would allow your users to install applications and make performance modifications not authorized by the manufacturer. While it may be convenient, it also circumvents the recommended security protections.
For companies with a BYOD policy, jailbreak alerts are a critical piece of ensuring every device that has access to your servers and systems is safe -- even your employees themselves may not know everything about their devices’ histories, but the system will.
Monitoring & Reporting
MDMs give you and your IT personnel all the tools necessary to summon real-time reports on all your company’s devices. This includes data pertaining to a device’s location, recent and historical activity, and alert notifications for when software on a device needs to be upgraded for security purposes.
Monitoring is easy for authorized users through a Windows-based dashboard with reports laid out in clear detail, and with options to sort and transmit reports in numerous formats -- an especially helpful feature for organizations that must abide by HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley compliance requirements.
And, thanks to GPS mapping/tracking functionality, you can see reports on where devices are or were last turned on, which will help you find and wipe clean company or BYOD devices that are lost or stolen.
So if you’re a business owner who’s serious about visibility, cost control, and cybersecurity -- but you don’t know where to start with your MDM application -- a Managed Services Provider like Founders Technology Group can help. We have years of experience keeping iPhones and Androids safe and optimizing the performance of New England businesses’ routers and WiFi networks. Call today!