In the digital age of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), it’s not out of the ordinary for your employees to bring their personally owned devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) to their place of work, and to use these devices to access sensitive and confidential company information and applications.
Say hello to Mobile Device Management, a software that’s been designed to surreptitiously run in the background of these devices and optimise their security and functionality.
MDM stands for Mobile Device Management
It’s a software solution that IT administrators use to secure, control, and enforce their policies on tablets, smartphone, laptops, and other endpoints. Companies should at least have a policy for managing these devices (network stipulation, passwords, and so forth).
Why Does MDM Matter?
As an employer, an MDM is a software solution that will give you peace of mind, knowing that your data is safe even when it’s being accessed via an employee’s device.
It allows you to set a strong password, policies, and remotely wipe sensitive data should you suspect anything fishy. Your network security is already difficult to manage when your hardware is in one place. However, the threats magnify significantly when the location shifts or when it’s moved outside your company’s premises.
MDM is the only way companies can keep sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands or being used inappropriately. It’s what they use to control mobile devices policies remotely, from a single location.
How to create a Mobile Device Management Strategy for Your Business
Sensitive company data may leak out due to security breaches, thus causing serious financial implications.
Here’s how you create a solid MDM strategy to keep your business safe:
Understand that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy isn’t for everyone
The BYOD policy isn’t for everyone. Some employees, more particularly sales executives and reps, are more likely to use their personal devices to email, make phone calls, and check calendars. So yes, a BYOD system could work with such a group. However, a work staff that uses these devices to create content may not be suited for BYOD.
Research the Different MDM Solutions
Research about the different MDM solutions and choose one that works best for your company. You have a wide selection of MDM solutions to choose from. It’s worthwhile to weigh through all the available options. Don’t approach an MDM salesperson to learn about their services. A better approach would be to approach people who have used the MDM solutions before and find out from them about what worked for them.
Set Limits on the Applications You Approve
You can start by identifying all the applications your employees may need and which ones to prohibit. Do your research, since these apps tend to differ from company to company. It’s a difficult process, considering no two people will have the same opinion (not even your employees). You have to reach a compromise by settling on what works for most of these employees.
Increase IT Support
As more employees bring their personal devices to the workplace, you should at least hire one IT employee to help you manage these electronic devices. Big companies are encouraged to ramp up their IT department when more of these devices are being used to access sensitive data. Make sure every smartphone that makes it to the workplace is protected and monitored by your IT department.
Draft Sustainable BYOD Policies
Draft BYOD policies that your employees should adhere to. These policies and regulations must then be presented to your IT department for vetting, and to your security officers, the communication director, and the legal department as well. Be sure to cover the rules, privacy restrictions, and guidelines governing the use of these devices. Have a place where everyone can sign it off.
Unveil the Program
This is where you launch the BYOD program. The best way to go about it is to hold a workshop with your staff and walk them through your policies and plan. Make sure that everyone understands your plan. Remember to explain why the BYOD program is great for the company. Review what apps and devices they’re allowed to use, and make them understand how you’re planning to enforce these rules.
Mobile Device Management Policy
MDM is a critical component of the BYOD policy. Your policy must clearly state which rights your company holds regarding these devices. What rights does it hold over carrier activation, installation of software tools, encryption technologies, anti-virus, security certificates, and so on?
Here are the other items to include in your MDM policy:
- Encryption policies
- Screensaver and password policies
- Removal or blocking of applications that pose as security risks
- Timing and processing of security scans
- Procedures for taking mobile data inventory, as well those of other applications
How does a Mobile Device Management Solution Work?
First, the software is hosted as an in-house managed SaaS or application. Any mobile device used to access the company’s data is treated as a client. These mobile devices can access the company server via a client-agent application.
But first, the application will have to be downloaded into the mobile device before it can access anything. Once installed, this application will monitor the device and ensure it’s compliant with the company’s BYOD policies. It will also limit the user from using certain applications and features.
Occasionally, the application will reach out to the server with the whereabouts of its location. The IT administrator can instruct the MDM server to make adjustments that coincide with the policies, rules, and behaviours established by the company.
The basic mobile device management solution will have the following list of features:
- Security management
- Inventory management
- Mobile application support
- Policy management
Benefits of A Mobile Device Management Solution
Here are some of the key benefits of a mobile device management system:
The primary benefit of an MDM is that it allows you to monitor portable devices that your employees use to access your company’s data remotely, regardless of where they are. This agility helps to reinforce healthy devices while also bolstering those that might do with a little help.
MDM can be of great help to your BYOD movement. Traditional technologies reject unrecognised devices, which may turn out to be a little bit of a problem when you consider the fact that some employees bring more than one mobile device to work. MDM can tell if a device posse as a threat instead of just assuming it is.
Controlled Device Update
It’s a common habit among employees to snub software updates until something happens or until that last possible minute. Unknown to them, this jeopardises the entire security of their network. Hackers are always looking for security holes, and should they spot one that’s left behind due to insufficient patching or updating, they’ll surely use it to gain access to your company’s information.
Increased Network Security
MDM practises are meant to increase your network security. Mostly it’s through their automatic updating capabilities and other security features. With MDM, it’s possible to update hundreds of devices at once, set a barrier between your company data and personal information, and encrypt sensitive company information.
Reduced IT Needs
When managed service providers use MDM, they dramatically reduce their administrative IT needs. First, it’s because MDM can automate many of the labour-intensive and time-consuming IT administrative processes involved in monitoring hundreds of mobile devices, workforce, and resources. That way, your IT administrators are freed up with so much time to dedicate to more sophisticated projects.
Improved Regulatory Compliance
Managed services providers have to operate as per the established IT standards and guidelines. But how do you ensure that all of their devices comply with these standards when there are like hundreds of them?
Simple: with an MDM. Every single one of these devices can be monitored and managed from one central console, which works to ensure that every single one of them is not only protected but is also working within the established policies and standards.
Types of MDM Solution
Not all MDM solutions are fashioned from the same fabric. Broadly, they can all be classified into two distinct groups:
Standalone MDM is a perfect solution for small to medium-sized enterprises. This category of MDM solutions focuses on providing MDM related functionalities, including app management, security, and remote control.
IT Management Suite
This MDM solution is often served as a single module. They only have one function that they focus on. For instance, they might be designed to help out with support desk ticketing or inventory control. They’re mostly used by large enterprises.
PROs of MDM
Here are a few reasons MDM is a compelling option:
- It creates an environment where several mobile devices can harmoniously co-exist on the same network.
- Allows all the devices within your network to be securely set up, which goes on to ensure that all your confidential business data stays safe.
- Encourages flexible working
- Saves time by saving you the trouble of manually configuring individual devices
- It’s cost-effective, even when more operating with loads of mobile devices
Cons of MDM
MDM has its share of flaws, and they include:
- It does not cater to every security concern. You can’t afford to be negligent.
- It relies on users adhering to your company policies concerning device usage. Should they fail to adhere to these policies, the whole operation will be hampered.
- Initial set-up is time-consuming, especially when operating with multiple devices
- It’s costly when it’s rushed through. You have to assess your company’s needs before reaching a decision on whether to implement one or to go with a mobile application instead.
MDM Alternative – MAM
Where a company feels like they don’t need an MDM, they have the option of investing in a Mobile Applications Management system instead. This basically shifts your focus from the devices in your network by zeroing into specific applications that are permissible by your organisation.
This approach only focuses on mobile apps by treating each one of them as a potential threat. However, it lets you take control over everything that enters your network.
MAM does not interfere with users’ personal data or apps. Instead, it containerises your company apps while blocking non-business-related apps from entering your company network.
It’s relatively cheaper than MDM, which makes them ideal for smaller businesses with relatively lower capital investment.
What to Look for in a Mobile Device Management Solution?
- Compatibility with the devices’ operating systems and apps. If the majority of the devices run, on say, Android or iOS, the MDM solution must be compatible with these two operating systems.
- Must operate or operate through multiple MSPs (managed services providers).
- A good MDM solution can be implemented over the air and made to target specific devices should it call for it.
- Compatibility with next-generation hardware, applications, and operating systems
- Ability to remove or add devices to the system for optimum security and efficiency
The price of an MDM solution will always vary depending on a list of factors. This is something you should bear in mind when choosing an MDM system.
The first one is whether the MDM solution is cloud-based or on-premise. Cloud-based MDM are mostly availed on a subscription basis, while on-premise MDMs are more of fixed assets that you have to pay for them heavily while acquiring them.
Number of Devices to Managed
The other factor that will determine MDM pricing is the number of devices or users to be managed. While some MDM solutions don’t indicate volume pricing, others have significant pricing discounts if your devices or users run to a count of hundreds or thousands.
For instance, a small entrepreneur may be charged $5 per month for a simple MDM solution, while a large enterprise may find itself shelling $3.5 per month per user or device for the same set of features.
The MDM Features You May Need
The amount you spend on an MDM solution will also vary depending on the MDM features you need. You have to begin by assessing your company’s MDM needs by reviewing your mobile security risks and find out how much of your sensitive information is being accessed on mobile devices. You may have to consult an MDM service provider for this. However, it’s more worthwhile to invest in this yourself, as it will help you determine the capabilities you need.
MDM is mostly priced per Device or User
The monthly cost of an MDM solution tends to range from $3.25 to $9 per user or device. The cost will also increase should you decide to add more features, especially VPN, data separation, and containerisation. Remember that some MDMs have free trials that you might want to take advantage of.
Latest Trends in Mobile Device Management
Here are some of the latest trends in MDM:
BYOD is Becoming a Norm
BYOD is fast picking up steam as a popular practise among many giant corporations and modern enterprises. For some reason, many employees just love working with their own laptops and mobile phones, and these are the employees that are thought to be highly productive and efficient, even more than those that enjoy working with enterprise-owned devices.
The EMM Shift
We have many organisation and enterprises shifting to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) systems. Whereas MDM pertains only to mobile devices, EMM strives to provide a more unified infrastructure that focuses on creating and managing policies for mobile application management, device security, work processes, and technologies, from a single location.
EMM is all-encompassing, more like MDM on steroids.
Managing a wide assortment of networks, mobile devices, and services is a cinch with EMM. With an EMM solution, you can easily build a reliable and more secure environment of tools, devices, and applications for workers.
Integration of MDM with IoT
IoT has been around for many years. It’s nothing new. But recent advances in the world of tech means mobile devices will become more intelligent and IoT-ready compared to what we already have.
Expect to see an onslaught of IoT-capable mobile devices in the coming years.
How MDM Fits into Your IT Strategy
If any of your employees use a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to access your company’s data, then MDM is an essential tool that you wouldn’t want to miss. Without it, should a single phone get lost or land in the wrong hands, then your entire company network is in major security jeopardy.
Worse is when the device has any access to your customers’ private information, like credit card numbers and personal medical information. Your company could be at risk of being served with a compliance violations lawsuit.
MDM is designed to protect you by allowing your team of IT administrators to remotely wipe or lock down any mobile device within your network. MDM also allows you to implement company-wide updates to your business applications and device policies from a central location.
The Main Components of any MDM Solution
Unified Endpoint Management
A devise management solution or software that configures mobile devices to company specifications, optimises their functionality to match business use, and simultaneously secures your corporate data and network. It also offers devise and application provisioning, remote wipe, OS configuration, and remote viewing.
Mobile Application Management
MAM is a software solution for managing mobile applications on sanctioned mobile devices to ensure that they’re operating in accordance with the company’s policies and regulations. It allows IT administrators to whitelist and blacklist mobile applications while also controlling their access permissions.
Mobile Content Management
An MCM solution is designed to allow users to access company content via their personally-owned mobile devices securely. Users can securely view and store data on their mobile devices using authentication, file sharing, or by copying and pasting. MCM comes with push-based file distribution, as well as deleting and replacement capabilities.
Mobile Identity Management
MIM allows businesses to authenticate user identity while also managing users’ activities on the company’s network. It offers features such as Single Sign-on, Device Enrolment, and certificate management. Companies can leverage some of the benefits associated with the Single sign-on feature, which enriches user experience, increases user productivity, and reduces maintenance burden.
With each employer bringing their own mobile device to work, IT administrators will be forced to choose a mobile management system that’s compatible with multiple operating systems, including Android, Windows, and iOS.
Wearable Management Solutions
Your security concerns shouldn’t just end with mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. You also have wearables devices to worry about. The MDM solution you settle for should also offer a security blanket to cover the risks associated with wearable devices. There should be an option to whitelist, track location, and remotely troubleshoot the issue you encounter.
Top Mobile Device Management Companies
Halodata is one of the leading providers of innovative data security services in Singapore, dedicated to architecting, designing, testing, and ensuring results. Their expertise spans across three key areas – information security, enterprise mobility, and business continuity. What Halodata does is introduce next-generation innovative solutions in the above key areas to the Asian Market.
· Remote Managed Device
· Portable Data Security
· Internal Data Leaks
· Corporate Theft
· External Attacks
Address: 1 North Bridge Road, #B1-03 High Street Centre, Singapore 179094
Tel: (65) 6336 7537
Email: [email protected]
Ivanti is an award-winning IT asset and service management software solution in Singapore. Headquartered in Singapore, Ivanti has 36 offices distributed in 23 different countries, including Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Shanghai, and Sydney. The company was formed in 2017 after HEAT and LANDESK software solutions decided to come together in a merger. That comes after LANDESK has previously acquired Shavlik, Wavelink, and AppSense. Heat, on the other hand, was created after Lumension and FrontRange decided to combine and operate as one.
· Technical Relationship manager
· Consulting on Demand
· Professional Services
Address: 300 Beach Road, #29-03A, The Concourse, Singapore 199555
Tel: (65) 6911 3888
Email: [email protected]
1 Mobility is your one-stop-shop for all things mobile. Their speciality is in helping businesses go mobile. Their solutions cut across organisations of all kinds and sizes. They provide consulting and development services for mobile applications, besides helping out with integrating these solutions with your existing business infrastructure. They also offer mobile customisation services that suit your requirements and everything your organisation stands for.
· Easy Pay
· Astral pipes
· Data Loss Prevention
· Enterprise Mobility Management
· Compliance Enforcement
· BYOD management
Address: 8 Shenton Way, #21-07 AXA Tower, Singapore 068811
Tel: (65) 6223 4355
Email: [email protected]
Grid Communications is well-known as a public telecommunications walkie-talkie network operator. The company was incorporated in 2000, with ST Telemedia and Singapore Telecommunications, each owning 50% of the stakes. Their portable communication solutions have significantly improved operational productivity, workforce mobility, and data security in a wide selection of industries from all across Singapore. They specialise in IoT, Mobile Data Management, Vehicle Fleet Tracking, PTT portable communication, and dispatch management solutions. CONTACT US
· Walkie Talkie Rental
· Mobile Device Management
Address: 1 Lorong 2 Toa Payoh, @03-01 Braddell House, Singapore 319637
Tel: (65) 6486 8777
Email: [email protected]
Ivy Mobility was founded in 2002 and is one of the leading mobility solutions in the country, serving more than 50 countries. The company is headquartered in Singapore but has offices in Europe, China, Latin America, Middle East, and North America. The company delivers the number 1 route to the market platform that supports direct store delivery, retail execution, and distribution management services in a unified system.
· Grupo Bimbo
· Direct Store Delivery
· Retail Execution
· Distributor Management System
· Salesforce Native
· Cloud RTM Suite
Address: Marina Bay Finance Centre, Level 39 Tower 2, 10 Marina Blvd, Singapore 018983
Network intelligence is an internationally recognised cybersecurity service, first established in 2001. The company’s team runs to a count of 600+ members, with offices in almost every part of the globe. Their services cover five key areas – assessment, professional services, cybersecurity training, GRC, and MSSP. They have experience working with different industry verticals, including Technology and Media, Banks and Financial Services, Ecommerce Portals, Oil and Power, Retails, etc.
· Travel Leaders
· ICS Security
· Cloud Security
· Security Compliance
· Payment Security
Address: 30 Cecil Street, #19-08 Prudential Tower, Singapore 049712
Tel: (65) 6813 1512
Email: apac-sal[email protected]
VMWare is a company dedicated to helping businesses streamline their digital journey with the aim of helping them deliver better customer experiences, besides empowering their employees to perform their best. Their software solutions span networking, security, cloud computing, and digital workspace. The company offers Workspace ONE, a digital workspace platform that securely manages and delivers any app on any of the devices that are connected to your network by integrating application management, access control, and multi-platform endpoint.
· Multi-cloud Operations
· Digital Workspace
· Intrinsic Security
· Virtual Cloud Network
· Hybrid Cloud
Address: 6 Temasek Blvd, 6th Floor Suntec Tower 4, Singapore 038986
Tel: (65) 6501 2002
“What a place to be!! Absolutely fantastic and energetic!”
M.Tech is one of the leading network performance and cybersecurity solutions in Singapore. Established in 2002, the company is headquartered in Singapore. It has a network of more than 32 offices distributed in 16 different countries, including Australia, Singapore, Cambodia, India, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. Their regional presence in all these countries places them in a favourable position to offer strong on-site sales, logistics, technical, and marketing support to their reseller partners.
· Network Performance
· Enterprise Data Centre
Address: 18 Boon Lay Way, #06-111 Tradehub 21, Singapore 609966
Tel: (65) 6516 0088
Email: [email protected]
“Best place for your Internet Security solutions.”
On 1st February 2012, Singtel launched a global cloud-based service that enables them to control, secure, and manage the mobile devices belonging to their employees, regardless of where they are. With this MDM solution, companies should be able to monitor and manage different mobile OS and ensure all the company’s information stays secure. This protection covers both company-owned mobile devices and those belonging to their employees.
· Cyber Security
· Cloud and Data Centre
· Voice and Collaborations
Address: 31 Exeter Road, Comcentre, #19-00, Singapore 239732
Tel: (65) 6838 3388
Email: [email protected]
“Staff are friendly and help, Kenny the guy whom served us – thank him for his hospitality.”
Starhub is a Singapore-based and home-grown telecommunication company. The company’s Managed Mobile Threat Defence operates as a multi-layered security service dedicated to providing comprehensive protection of employees’ mobile devices against any form of mobile attack. It can identify most of these threats using on-device, cloud-based algorithms, and automatically trigger defense responses.
· Hosting and Connectivity
· Voice and Mobility
Address: 1 Changi Business Park, Avenue 1, Singapore 486058
Tel: (65) 6820 1631
Email: [email protected]