Last year, mobile web usage overtook desktop for the first time. Over the last few years many companies have embraced BYOD initiatives and are now enjoying the flexibility and productivity a mobile workforce provides.
91% of companies in, the UK now have at least one employee that works remotely. The reality is that a wave of corporate and personally owned phones, tablets, wearables and an increasing number of IoT devices need to be managed to protect businesses from losing critical data.
As a result, deploying an effective mobile device strategy is crucial, but it is often neglected. However, businesses cannot afford to be left vulnerable when a company laptop or phone is stolen, and this is where Mobile Device Management (MDM) comes in.
How do you build an effective MDM strategy?
The ultimate aim should be to protect your business from data loss and remove any potential vulnerabilities. But there is much more to an MDM strategy than remotely wiping or locking a device.
A single solution for mobile phones is no longer good enough when most companies have a hardware estate that at the very least will have iPads, and laptops. Every mobile device is equally as vulnerable as the next which makes it imperative for all enterprises to take MDM seriously.
When planning your MDM strategy, map out how your employees work and think about every device they use to ensure your plan is all-encompassing.
Don’t opt for the first solution you see, shop around!
Shop around and look at what different providers are offering. This market is growing by the day, so the products available are advancing and becoming much more flexible.
With hundreds or even thousands of devices, think about how easy the enrollment of each device will be in each solution. Securing data and being able to remotely wipe and lock devices should be top of your requirements, but do not underestimate the importance of a user-friendly admin dashboard either.
Before you buy, think about how you work and what’s most important to you. A provider will then be able to help tailor a solution for your business. To give you an idea of some of the key players, here’s a helpful article.
Make BYOD bulletproof
Staff now increasingly use their own devices for work purposes, meaning that businesses have to have a bulletproof BYOD strategy in place. For teams to seamlessly switch between devices and access company data, it’s important that you modify your setup accordingly. Think about using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) which enables devices to access company servers securely without any threats.
An important one to note while on the topic of security is USB sticks. They are commonly forgotten about when it comes to MDM, yet they’re one of the most frequently misplaced items. They also pose a high risk to businesses thanks to the ease of access they provide. To avoid this, consider encrypting the devices that you provide to staff.
Non-compliance could mean a hefty fine
With many types of remote administration tools, applications and operating systems working together, compliance can become a bit of a juggling act.
Ensuring proper encryption key exchange, protocols and standards are in place is paramount. There are many sector-specific regulations which must be followed to mitigate risk. For example, solicitors must adhere to the Solicitors Regulation Authority just as financial services firms have to abide by the Financial Conduct Authority. Check that you are up to date on your sector requirements to avoid any breaches.
Behind all effective MDM, policies is an educated workforce
Once you have your MDM Strategy worked out, it’s essential that you introduce set company policies around security and usage. Elements such as remote working, passwords and encryption will all need rules or guidelines to ensure your strategy is effective.
When you have a well-defined set of policies, educate your employees, so they are clear on your strategy. This will also help ensure you remain compliant as uneducated staff can prove to be weak links.
What are the benefits of having an MDM solution in place?
You can manage everything remotely. MDM technology is now capable of offering Patch Management, Web Protection, Analytics and Data Breach Intelligence amongst other things. This gives you excellent control over all devices which is especially important when they are lost or stolen.
Your staff will be far more productive
Providing staff with the tools they need to work flexibly can have a significant impact on productivity. 84% of companies report an increase in overall productivity as a direct result of incorporating mobile apps into their business.
Manage Mobile Applications
The applications installed on a myriad of devices hold the keys to the productivity to your mobile workforce. But the software that directly accesses company data needs to be carefully controlled and regulated. The introduction of role-based access management or the ability to remove or lock down an application on any device could save your company thousands.
Data Backup of Corporate Data
We have all read the headlines of yet another data breach or disaster. Security breaches on a mobile device is something that would be foolish to ignore. Ask your IT manager what makes them nervous and the inability to retrieve, backup or restore company data from a mobile device is probably top of a long list.
Can you afford to be left behind?
In today’s competitive world you have to ask yourself what are you doing to stay ahead? Businesses with agile workers have much more flexibility, leaving those that don’t behind.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. Mobile devices are already replacing traditional business hardware such as desktops and laptops. But, securing corporate data and the information being accessed by these relatively new devices is even more critical considering they could be lost or stolen in any location.
Protecting your data by having the ability to distribute security configurations or managing applications remotely on these mobile devices is something that cannot be ignored or left behind either.