What is Mobile Device Management

What is Mobile Device Management? (MDM)

It is interesting to see how the telephone has evolved. What was once a relatively simple device has now become a multi-faceted device that seems able to do just about anything. Perhaps people can be forgiven for spending so much time on their smartphones and tablets, as there are so many things you can do on them. Still, this situation does come with a few problems, and the good people at PCH Technologies understand them all.

For those who are attempting to maintain an orderly workplace, there is a great need for management and oversight of mobile devices. This is partly due to security reasons, as mobile devices and networks can present a large hole in your cyber-defense. Those with bad intentions can exploit this weakness to their advantage. With that in mind, let’s talk a bit about mobile device management and how it works.

Primary Reasons For Mobile Device Management

As we mentioned, security is one of the primary reasons for mobile device management. A hacker or other malicious intruder can use an untraceable device on a wi-fi network to gain unauthorized access to your system. Using MDM, you can exercise tighter control over which devices are allowed on the network.

Of course, there are also old-fashioned thieves to worry about. When a company issues mobile devices to its employees, there is a need to make sure no one (including the employee) can steal those devices. Thus, special software is normally used to track these devices and recover them if they are stolen or lost.

Of course, it’s not just about dealing with thieves, hackers, and scammers. Even without these threats, mobile device management would still offer an efficient way to keep everyone on the same page. When all the devices are together on the same well-managed network, software updates and the like become much easier. Likewise, it is easier to make sure that everyone is well-informed.

How Mobile Device Management Works

MDM will usually rely on a specialized software program that is used to control and monitor the network. It works a lot like the relationship between an internet server and your home computer. By using client-server architecture, mobile device management can use most of the same security measures that are employed on the internet.

Most computer networks require a security “certificate” in order to gain access. This is one of the reasons that a computer (or mobile device) requires frequent updates. This certificate verifies that the user is a legitimately authorized user and that their device is updated enough to access the network without problems. On a managed network, only approved devices will be given the credentials required for access.

Common Features of Mobile Device Management

Now let’s look at some of the ways in which mobile device management is used. For one thing, MDM is frequently used to spread important information among end-users. When all the mobile devices are being managed from the same place, it is much easier to keep people updated on the things they need to know.

MDM also allows network managers to access devices remotely, which might be used for a variety of purposes. The IT department might use it to fix a problem or patch a bug, and this kind of management will probably allow them to fix every device on the network at the same time. Behavioral monitoring is another important feature, as most employers want their people to stay on-task.

For the end-user, the features of mobile device management will mostly take the form of restrictions. You can make it so that your employees cannot access forbidden sites or waste their time on social media, so expect a little pushback from that.

Issued Devices Or BYOD?

When setting up an MDM plan, one of the most important decisions is whether or not to allow BYOD. BYOD (“bring your own device”) means that each network user will supply their mobile device and authorize it for use on that network. There are both pros and cons to this kind of policy.

If you choose to allow BYOD, you will definitely save some money on phones and tablets. These things are generally not cheap, so there is a significant cost-saving opportunity here. One good mobile device can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, so multiply that cost by your total number of employees. As you can see, we are talking about a large amount of money.

At the same time, BYOD should not be used in situations where extreme security is needed. There is always the chance that someone will find a way to get around the restrictions that are placed on their device. There is also always a chance that negligence could create a problem. Thus, you will need to balance the need to save money against the need for maximum security.

Conclusion

Mobile device management may seem a little intrusive to some, but it’s necessary for many situations. At PCH Technologies, we want all of our customers to enjoy the high level of data security that they have a right to expect. Our trusted experts can set up this kind of advanced monitoring in no time flat, and they have the expertise to do it right every time. If you would like to know more, feel free to fill out the contact form.