With the COVID-19 outbreak causing much of the world to suddenly work from home, many employees have simply found themselves using whatever hardware and peripherals they had on hand. These may be company-issued devices they didn’t use too often, or perhaps their own personal computers and smartphones.
With the rush to have everyone work from home, you may not have had the chance to enroll devices in a Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform so that they can be secured and configured properly. This may have been because there was no time for IT to enroll or re-enroll the devices, or employees abruptly found themselves needing to rely on their personal devices in order to be able to work.
With the rush to have everyone work from home, you may not have had the chance to enroll devices in a Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform so that they can be secured and configured properly.
Make sure devices are up to date - and secure
It’s a good idea to check in with both your employees—and their hardware—as it is unknown when organizations will resume normal operations, and employees will have access to their regular work environment.
Here are a few steps you can take to better control the fleet of devices in use by employees at home. Also, enrolling devices to an MDM platform is not too late even though your employees, and devices, are at the home office.
1. Encourage employees to enroll on their own
For devices that are not enrolled with MDM, employees can do it by themselves with just a little bit of supervision. Send an enrollment message via email or SMS, and provide additional instructions. Explain that this will help them do their jobs better and make their devices and the organization more secure.
2. Arrange for brand-new devices to be shipped to employees
Now might be a good time to purchase devices and have them shipped to employees’ homes. Using Google’s Zero-touch Enrollment for Android or Apple Business Manager/Device Enrollment Program (DEP) for iOS, devices are already enrolled, configured, and ready to use by employees right out of the box.
3. Instruct employees to perform manual updates
For devices that are not enrolled in MDM, but important updates are needed, including security patches, provide detailed instructions for employees to handle this on their own. This, of course, is not ideal, but the more secure their devices, the more secure your company’s data. Under the rather unusual circumstances of quarantine, this is important.
4. Keep track of devices and anticipate "power users"
Organizations that have MDM installed on employee devices should constantly monitor usage as it will be higher than normal. Ensure that employees have everything they need to work most efficiently and distribute apps remotely if necessary.