Introduction: Who Needs Mobile Device Management?
Mobile device management (often abbreviated as MDM) is a pretty self-explanatory term. In this article, we will be focusing on the use of MDM in a business setting. We should begin by telling you that mobile device management is not necessary for most home networks. However, it is generally required for a business setting. If you use mobile phones for any aspect of your business (like an employee-only app, for instance), mobile device management is always a good idea.
How Does Mobile Device Management Work?
MDM generally works through the use of specialized software. The software is given access to all mobile devices on the network. When we say “mobile devices,” that includes mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and similar devices. Using MDM software, it is possible to manage their settings, content, and just about anything else from afar. This brings us to another important point: The use of proprietary devices.
If you have people using their personal mobile devices for business uses (apart from basic communication), it can pose a number of problems. You can’t expect all your employees to let you monitor and control their mobile phones, so you need to issue proprietary devices. Using router-based MAC address exclusion, you can make it so that only these proprietary devices are able to access the network.
MDM Vs. EMM, UEM, and MAM
These three terms are sometimes used interchangeably, and that is not entirely correct. We have already explained what MDM is, so let’s focus on the other two. EMM stands for “Enterprise Mobility Management.” This is a general term that refers to all mobile-related network management. While MDM is considered to be a part of EMM, they are not exactly the same.
UEM stands for “Unified Endpoint Management.” This is another general term, and this one refers to the management of all network endpoints. This would include mobile devices, but also any other device that can access the internet. Again, MDM is one part of a good UEM plan, but they are not quite the same thing.
Finally, we come to MAM (“Mobile Application Management“). This is a common solution in situations where proprietary devices are not practical. Rather than trying to secure and optimize every endpoint, they simply focus on securing and optimizing the applications that are used for business. MAM can be combined with limited MDM to achieve an extra layer of network visibility.
Why Mobile Device Management Matters
The first thing to consider is security. Although large-scale cybersecurity breaches don’t exactly happen daily, they do happen pretty often. How often? Well, it is hard to say because many attacks go undetected and/or unreported. However, this source gives us the number of publicly-reported attacks, which will at least give us a minimum number.
There were 1,108 publicly-reported data breaches in 2020, according to our source. They also say that the number of breaches in 2021 has already exceeded this number, with 1,291 attacks so far (as of October 6, 2021). Thus, we can see that this is a large and growing problem.
Every device that can access your network is called an “endpoint.” This includes computers, mobile devices, and any “smart” devices you might be using. Each one of these is a point of primary access and, therefore, a potential entry point through which an attack might come. Hackers generally begin their work by scoping your network to find the weakest endpoints. If you are using MDM and proprietary devices, that weak point will be a great deal harder to find.
MDM makes it more practical for all mobile devices to produce regular data backups, as the process can be more easily managed from a central software hub. Backups remain one of the best defenses against ransomware and data loss in general. Another security advantage here is the ability to disable or block any device that becomes lost or stolen.
After security, the next most important thing is performance. When networks and devices run slow, it can affect productivity in a significant way. Sure, it might only be a delay of a few seconds, but think about this: When your employees are using that network resource all day long, that 2-5 second delay is multiplied by the number of times in which it occurs, and it can add up to quite a lot of lost time. Do we even need to mention the old saying that “time is money?” It couldn’t be more true in this case.
When properly managed, MDM can help you to maintain peak network speed and performance. Even something as simple as keeping all the endpoints and applications updated can make a big difference. The optimization of MDM is something that has to be done on a case-by-case basis, as there is no one way that will work for all network architectures.
A good MDM plan can also help to improve business productivity in several other indirect ways. When you use proprietary devices, you can limit the apps and functions that are available to each user. Thus, they have only what they need. Social media alone can waste huge amounts of time and productivity, so blocking those sites and functions on a device-by-device basis is very helpful.
MDM also makes it more practical to manage a larger number of remote workers. It is less practical to use proprietary devices when it comes to remote workers, but all those endpoints can also create problems. MDM makes it more practical to manage a large number of devices (whether private or corporate), which is essential for any company that employs a lot of remote workers.
Mobile device management is definitely necessary for any company that uses mobile devices for business purposes. Since most companies are now using such devices, it logically follows that most companies need some kind of MDM solution. If you would like to know more about comprehensive MDM solutions, you can call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.