In recent times, using mobile devices in the office environment has become necessary. From communication to work management, employees use mobile devices that are either provided by the company or have ‘Bring Your Device (BYOD)’ policies where the employees bring their own devices.
However, in both cases, the devices need monitoring and management for optimal performance and to ensure the devices are secure enough for organizational use. In a large enterprise, monitoring and securing devices being used manually is very hard. This is why many organizations use tools called Mobile Device Management or MDM. So, what is MDM (Mobile Device Management)?
What Is MDM (Mobile Device Management)?
MDM is a tool that is used by IT professionals (In-house or Outsourced) of an organization to access, monitor, secure, and customize settings of mobile devices used across the organization. For example, a large company may have provided hundreds of devices for their staff to use for their work. Ensuring these devices comply with the organizational policies, have security, and are in optimal condition for use is critical.
MDM tools provide these IT professionals with access to these devices individually, configure their settings if needed, and secure them for organizational use. MDM can be done in-house or outsourced to external service providers.
Features Of MDM
MDM software needs to have certain features to be able to control these devices. Some of the key features an MDM tool has are as follows.
Inventory and Tracking
MDM software can track and monitor all the devices in the deployed organization. In addition, it can keep records of the device’s users, the time they have been using it, and more.
Enterprise App Store/App Control
The MDM tool also has its own App Store. This allows the employees to install selected apps while restricting access to other app stores. It is also able to block apps and control the installation remotely.
MDM tools can reset devices remotely and restore them when needed. In addition, it has full control over the device and can lock out any user in case.
Securing the device is one of the key priorities of MDM tools. Therefore, it can enforce passwords onto selected devices and require the employees to input the password for use. It can also change the passwords remotely to secure the device in case of any security breaches.
Data encryption is another security feature of an MDM tool. It encrypts data being transferred from the device to any other (internal or external) devices. This is to protect any confidential information within the organization.
With the help of the MDM agent, the MDM tools can:
- Manage, install, restrict, and uninstall apps on the endpoint device.
- Manage the contents of the device. Set data loss prevention policies, and secure the contents’ distribution, sharing, and viewing.
- Access control of the contents within an organization. Distribute contents according to departments.
- Encrypt the contents of the device and also create backups for them.
- Provide device and app security, remote actions, threat protection, and geo-fencing.
- Customize the device’s functions, automate the device lockdown out of office hours, and customize the device’s home screen.
- Troubleshoot any issues within the device remotely. Erase or restore the device’s storage.
- Location tracking of the devices and geofence the device in case of BYOD policy.
- Update and manage the Apps and OS of the device remotely.
How MDM Works?
MDM tools have control centers located on in-house or cloud servers from where the device is controlled. The device is equipped with an MDM agent, which serves as the agent for individual devices to control it. Administrators can access and enforce settings on the endpoint from the server’s dashboard.
The three components of MDM infrastructure are:
- Cloud Server, where the software is stored.
- Dashboard, from where the devices are accessed, controlled, and managed.
- MDM Agent, installed on the endpoint device to connect it with the MDM tool.