Thanks to the prevalence of bring-your-own-device programs and increasing reliance on mobile work, the need for high-quality mobile device management is higher than ever. To meet this demand, company leaders must understand what comprises a good Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy and a 4-step guide to mobile device management — how to implement one effectively.
Today’s employees love their smartphones, but not all of them are eager to use personal devices at work. Concerns about data privacy make many workers leery about handing over access to their employers. Evolving reliance on cloud technology multiplies points of access, too, which further complicates the issue.
The “bring your own device,” (BYOD) culture will continue to expand, which means companies must find the balance between privacy and safety.
One recent report found that the BYOD market will hit a compound annual growth rate of more than 17 percent by 2023. Businesses need to implement smart, scalable MDM strategies to keep their operations protected and powerful.
For many companies, that task is too big to manage alone. Employee concerns, data protection, cloud technology familiarity, and other MDM issues all require a full staff to manage them. To thrive in a rapidly evolving MDM space, organizations are turning to MDM partner companies to manage their business needs and compliance challenges. These partners provide significant help to companies looking for guidance and clarity in a BYOD-driven world.
To get the most from your MDM partnership, keep your employees happy. You’ll also want to fulfill the needs of your business as it grows — so follow this four-step guide on MDM mastery:
1. Establish an acceptable use policy.
Every device that accesses company data must pass muster. Create and establish an acceptable use policy to set the foundation for mobile device use at your business. This policy will set the foundation for the way your company handles everything from new device onboarding to employee departures.
A good policy should outline parameters such as encryption, passwords, and device lock. You will want to impliment a detailed BYOD plan that provides guidelines for using personal devices at work. With 85 percent of companies now embracing BYOD plans and employees increasingly concerned about their privacy — acceptable use policies protect and reassure everyone involved. Reinforce this policy through security awareness programs as part of creating a culture of security at your organization.
2. Choose the right applications.
Choose applications that are easy to use and helpful to the company. For example, some applications store data locally on the device while others do not. Working inside the cloud provides employees access to countless applications, so be judicious when assessing your options. Err on the side of caution, and use only applications that provide essential benefits to your business.
Using too many apps can lead to forgotten passwords and IT headaches — not to mention security concerns from an abundance of access points. Thirty percent of enterprises think security is the most prominent obstacle to BYOD adoption — and app selection is a critical component of maintaining data security.
3. Restrict access to settings.
Employees don’t need access to everything. Excessive access can lead to data breaches, unintentional and otherwise, and breaches grow costlier every year. Kaspersky found that the average cost of a data breach at a small business spiked from $88,000 in 2017 to $120,000 in 2018.
Working online in shared workspaces creates opportunities for information loss or misuse. Sadly, only 56 percent of companies have the power to employ key tactics like remote wipes of sensitive data.
When working in the cloud, restrict access to shared application settings to keep the system safe. Access restrictions protect companies from malicious acts and accidents alike. Only a few users need master access, depending on the size of the company and the practicality of implementation, so make exceptions for tight security only on a need-to-use basis.
4. Find an MDM service to fit your needs.
Many MDM services can help you manage your mobile devices. Depending on the operations of your company and the services you require, your options for MDM partners may vary. Conduct thorough research on potential candidates to find the best one for your organization.
The right partner should make it easy for you to stay compliant on information security issues, such as tracking devices and maintaining updates. Your MDM service should empower your company and protect it. In a cloud environment, endpoint management should complement your MDM, which can detect suspicious authentication from devices, enforce multifactor authentication, detect malware, and detect suspicious ingress and egress activity.
Most MDM services work by installing a bit of software on user devices. This software can handle everything the business needs, but companies should be mindful when implementing MDM services with BYOD populations. Many employees might be leery of allowing an MDM solution on their personal devices. Consider employee sentiment, and be prepared to answer questions about privacy before moving forward with a new service.
Reliance on cloud technology and the prevalence of smartphones will only grow stronger in the years ahead.
To operate effectively in this environment, take the precautions outlined in this guide and work with employees and your vendor to keep your company and information safe. The challenges of mobile device management will continue to evolve, but with the right mindset, tools, and partners, you can stay ahead of the curve and keep your business safe.