Protect Your Company With an MDM (Mobile Device Management) Solution
RyanJanuary 06th, 20177 minute read
Ryan is Codal's Junior Technical Writer. On the marketing team, he contributes blogs and articles for trade publications, Codal's website and blog, and marketing materials. Outside of Codal, he is a basketball fanatic.
In the application development industry, Mobile Device Management (MDM) typically refers to software that protects information that employees access on their devices. It allows the distribution of of applications, configuration settings, and data on devices. It can also cover more specific things, like SD card encryption, and geo-location tracking.
2016 was a big year for security breaches. The mobile app development agency behind the Snapchat app reported a breach of security. Yahoo and Dropbox had their apps hacked shortly after.
With each mobile device that a company adds to their data network, the potential for a security breach increases just a little.
Any device that is used to access company data becomes a potential liability to the company. Without the services of an MDM software, you leave your company vulnerable to theft of intellectual property.
Why MDM is Important
Imagine getting an email from a distressed employee explaining that his/her phone was lost in an airport. The employee writes that he has accessed company data from the lost phone in the past. At this point, the phone is a potential security breach.
MDM solutions are designed for situations like this. A survey performed by the Boston Research Group projected that 70% of businesses believe that mobile devices pose a significant security threat to data security.
You might think that data theft isn't a real threat to your company. According to the US Department of Human Services , 809 Americans have already experienced a breach of personal data in 2017. The new year is just 5 days old at this point.
That's over 150 data breaches per day.
If you hadn't been using any sort of MDM software prior to the loss of the employee's phone, the only thing you could do is hope that the phone doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
In the event that you had been using MDM software, and had correctly installed software on the lost phone, you would be able to wipe the phone of company data remotely.
When it comes to MDM software, you really do get what you pay for. Sure, there are MDM services out there that go for less than three dollars per month. But in the event that one of your employees loses a phone not compatible with your cut-rate MDM software, you're out of luck.
What Features Should You Look For In MDM Software
The most important thing to look for in MDM software is a wide range of supported operating systems. There are probably lots of different operating systems within your company, and you need to find an MDM that covers them all.
Hopefully, you never need to "lock out" any of your employees from your company's secure documents. But if you ever end up at risk of a data leak, content locking will allow you thwart any attempt to view the company's data.
Partition Between Work and Personal Use:
Not all MDM features will be appreciated by your employees. Certain MDM companies offer employee-unfriendly surveillance features such as device location or internet uploads. Keep this in mind when you shop for MDM software.
Web Based Access:
Suppose an employee would like to access company info from a public computer. Certain MDM companies have an online component that allows employees to log in to the company account without having to download any software.
Maximum Device Coverage:
Usually MDM companies have different tiers of coverage based on how many different devices will be secured. Make sure that you select a pricing option that leaves room for both the addition of company devices and for company growth.
Conclusion: Purchased Peace of Mind
Although some of the MDM software out there is marketed as "efficiency improving", the main objective of MDM is security and data protection.
It's extremely important that the MDM software is widely compatible with all the different mobile operating systems that exist in the company.
If somebody in the company is running a rare operating system, make sure that the MDM software has some sort of web based access so that the user can still be verified en route to gaining access to the company documents.
Codal recommends AirWatch by VMware for MDM services. The first thirty days are free with up to 100 devices. AirWatch is compatible with Android, Windows, Linux and iOS operating systems.
After the first 30 days, the complete AirWatch content locking package costs $6.33 per month. What makes AirWatch unique is the way that the software can recognize documents that aren't company related and make them available. This is very useful if an employee shares a mobile devices with a friend.
It's quite possible that you'll never find yourself in a situation where theft of intellectual property from the company is a genuine threat. However, in the event of a security breach, working with a software development agency to implement an MDM solution could save you a lot of time and money.