Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mobile Device Management (MDM) – An Essential Ingredient of Enterprise Mobile Security

With mobile device replacing enterprise IT assets (desktops and laptops) due to trends like BYOD, wireless workforce, tablet adoption, etc. IT security professionals face severe challenges to ensure security of corporate data and information being accessed by these devices. Organizations completely rely on security managers to confirm that the company data used by the mobile workforce is secure.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is slowly becoming the need of an hour in enterprise mobile security concerns. MDM is a policy of deploying, securing, monitoring, integrating and managing mobile devices in the workplace. The intent of MDM is to optimize the functionality of mobile devices within the enterprise and protecting the corporate network. According to The Nemertes Research Group Inc, 46% of companies have implemented MDM and 84% are expected to embrace the MDM practice by the end of 2014.

Mobile Device Management

With this the demand of software for managing the mobile devices is growing rapidly. Mobile Device Management Software allows securing and managing all the mobile device deployments remotely. It gives Security Managers, way to troubleshoot the mobile device management by allowing them to distribute configurations and data settings and resolving patches in the devices and applications. Software for MDM generally supports file synchronization and sharing, data security and corporate content security. Besides most software of mobile device management include following features:

  • Mobile Application Management (MAM) or Enterprise Application Management
  • Workspace Security for documents, information and applications
  • Secure Document Sharing (SDS) with platforms like Dropbox, SharePoint, etc.
  • WLAN Integration for network security
  • Certificate Authority Integration
Of all these MDM functionalities, mobile application management feature is used by 29% of enterprises. Companies in mobile application development also consider MAM for managing, distributing, licensing mobile applications developed by them. On the other hand, document sharing from mobile devices requires more control unlike desktops and laptops. Thus SDS feature of MDM provides necessary APIs to control and secure the document sharing practice from mobile devices.

Looking at the features of MDM, especially MAM and SDS, it should be considered as a primary tool to ensure security of mobile devices within the enterprise and apps and functionalities running on them.

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  1. The mobile devices and its applications are rising in huge numbers. With this also is increasing worries in users mind as related to data which is secured in them. Here the data what we are talking about is the information one has stored in his/her mobile device. It is not mandatory that whatever data is important for an individual is also important for enterprise or vice-versa. So it is person or organization specific as to which data is important to whom.

    Since this is an era of mobility enterprises are encouraging the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) wherein employees bring their own devices. Enterprise Mobility is becoming increasingly important as businesses attempt to leverage mobile communications to stay connected. As enterprises move to mobile and virtual workforces, the right communication tools are necessary to simplify enterprise mobility. So many Androids, iOS, Blackberry’s are entering enterprises premises, one they bring flexibility and on the other hand they bring risk factor in terms of data security. Data or corporate information is very important for any organization because of its confidentiality. Since these corporate devices connect to numerous other devices and networks, so they become prone to more hackers and viruses. This brings the concept of mobile device security which is taken care by mobile device management.

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