In many businesses today, we’re observing a trend that has grown into an undeniable force of nature: the rise of mobile devices as the new exciting frontier of everyday computing. Old school desktops and laptops aren’t necessarily going anywhere, but they’re there for the heavy lifting.
What are the implications of this for security? Let’s take a look.
1. Take control over blurring boundaries
Mobile is where it’s at: devices carried by everyone, everyday, providing instant access to information in both the personal and professional realm. People use their smartphones for everything, from the most intimate daily family grievances to silly memes…and accessing critical business information on the go.
Mobile device management allows you, as a manager or business owner, to take control over this. As with all security, threat modeling is key: That is, understanding what you’re defending against. With the Business and Enterprise plans for Miradore Online, you can white and blacklist apps, making sure you’re in control over what software is running on mobiles. In some cases, weeding out personal apps is critical for tax purposes, too.
2. See your fleet more clearly
Without mobile device management, you’re virtually flying blindly. In a small business setting, a reluctant IT person can, for surprisingly long, struggle against the tide and do a lot of manual computer maintenance and overview, whenever needed.
However, mobile devices tend to walk out the door, continuously, even more so than laptops. Anyway, perhaps you’ve seen one of those studies on touch screen and keyboard hygiene. If you have, you might not want to touch someone else’s device.
With Miradore Online, you get lots of convenient overviews, from what devices your company owns, to the individual patch levels of each device. IT personnel can see what apps are installed, and if necessary, you can follow the location of the device. However, as Miradore Online uses standard APIs in mobile operating systems, there is little risk of unauthorized access to user data on any devices.
3. Always have someone to talk to
Customers of Miradore Online can always get help when questions arise, making sure no phone goes unmanaged. Our phone and email support, combined with a knowledge base, helps ensure the system is correctly configured and that the implications of the data collected is correctly interpreted.
4. Create a trail with reports
In addition to the big picture, Miradore Online allows customers access to build comprehensive reports with our report builder. These can be exported and saved. It’s a good idea to have an “excel trail” of what your network looked like at regular intervals, in case something happens.
5. Easily enroll devices and automatically install apps, users and policies
Luckily, using Miradore Online, individual device enrollment isn’t only easy, it’s incredibly powerful and allows access over APIs and bulk deployments of sets of apps and settings. This will save an IT admin countless hours over time, which can be used more efficiently. Especially when integrated with existing tools in an organization.
With automatic enrollments of configurations, many users will also avoid the temptations of weaker passwords, a real risk when dealing with clumsy touchscreen typing.
6. Enforce policies and control your data to avoid data theft
By now, different kinds of lock screens are becoming well known among users – but not everyone uses them. Phone manufacturers try to push as many users as possible towards passcodes with options like finger print readers. Yet, in a business environment, you probably don’t want to leave basic protections like these to chance. Instead, enforce.
Humans sometimes make mistakes, and devices are stolen or lost. That’s why Miradore Online makes it easy to issue remote erase commands too, just in case.
7. Enable data retrieval and forensics
Sometimes, locked devices can be a headache for forgetful users with too many passwords and pins to keep track of. So naturally, clearing forgotten passcodes is a convenient management feature, just as resetting locked-out user accounts is a routine task in most IT helpdesk settings.
But at times, things may happen where data retrieval can be hard be a question of business continuity, or even law and order. Users of strongly encrypted devices may be incapacitated in accidents, or, in some cases, commit crimes. Miradore Online enables businesses to access information stored on devices by resetting passcodes.
These are of course powerful features, which is why Miradore Online users benefit from the strong Finnish privacy laws our company adheres to. We won’t give up access to customer data or open phones unless law enforcement meet strict demands.
8. Mitigate the risks inherent in poorly supported devices
Mobile devices offer the IT industry a great chance at a clean slate: cleaner, simpler systems compared to the baggage carrying fossils on the desktop side. The foundations of Windows, Mac and even Linux desktop operating systems are, at best, decades old.
Yet, unfortunately, the mobile ecosystem is notoriously bad at a number of things, especially on the Android side. Vendors slack off with operating system updates, and the Play Store is full of poorly vetted apps, which can be granted broad access to user data. Furthermore, fast disk, or memory card encryption is far from universally available on the Android devices in use today.
So, in addition to the blurred lines of the personal and the corporate we discussed above, businesses may have a ticking time bomb in their mobile fleet with outdated phones. Those who invested in Windows Phone also have aging devices.
When in situations where use of poorly supported devices becomes necessary, IT managers can reap further benefits from locking down devices for the purposes they’re intended for, even making single-app kiosks possible on iOS and some Android devices.
9. Assume complexity and diversity
With a solution like Miradore Online, having many different kinds of mobile hardware will be less of a strain. In fact, in IT environments, diversity may have practical, positive impacts on security and makes it possible to always pick the right device for the job. That of course assumes that computers get updated, which again isn’t always the case in the mobile environment.
However, with a central management interface, it will be less of a concern for IT workers to get users to report the right information about their devices when support is needed.
10. Keep in contact with users
Sometimes you need to quickly reach your users with all manners of advisories, be it a reminder about day to day businesses or critical security advisories.
With Miradore Online, you get the option of sending messages through email and push notifications, which are almost certain to catch your users’ eyes.
There it is: Ten simple reasons why MDM is a good choice to quickly improve the security posture of any organization that relies on mobile computing. A business wouldn’t leave Windows computers unmanaged. Sign up for Miradore Online, which is free for basic use, and start taking advantage of the management and security features of your company’s smartphones.