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Stephen Nardone - Director of Security Solutions and Services

Fine Tune Your MDM for Success

Where Should Your Mobility Focus Be?

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Consumerization has driven Mobile Device Management (MDM) to near the top of the IT priority list—77% of enterprises use MDM, according to IDG research.* But where should your focus be? On application delivery, device management policy, user-level restrictions? All of the above? This post will help you figure that out.

Mobile DevicesNow that you’ve picked your MDM solution, what do you do? The most difficult and most important thing is getting employees to understand the significance of your company’s BYOD policy. Explain that they are in place to protect both the company and the employee. Clearly outlining both the risks unauthorized access poses and the benefits BYOD programs provide is the best way to ensure active worker participation. That policy must plainly explain what is and isn’t allowed, in accordance with government regulations and company security policies.

Because of the great concern about who has access to your personal data, policy must also clearly define what IT will be able to see and manage on personal devices. The policies must also be living documents that are continually reviewed and updated to address business and user needs. These policies must also be implemented as controls in your MDM. If you don’t do that, your MDM implementation will quickly become divorced from the realities of the workplace.

Most solutions require users to download an MDM profile. This is how the program knows what that user should and should not have access to. It also gives IT security enforcement access to native applications—such as email. Employees must know what MDM features you will or won’t be using—like GPS tracking. While it can be used to locate a lost device it can also be used to track the device’s owner. Having that information can raise legal issues which need to be carefully evaluated before deciding on policy.  When employees understand which applications are and are not managed, they are more likely to be open to enabling MDM on their device.

It may sound crazy, but you should seriously consider implementing MDM along with your MDM implementation. That first MDM stands for master data management. It is a way for an enterprise to link all of its critical data to one file, called a master file. This provides a common point of reference for all users. At the most basic level master data management prevents things like sending customers solicitations for products they already have. Done correctly master data management can streamline data sharing among personnel and departments. It is also a key element of user-level restrictions. These can determine who should and shouldn’t have access to which documents. This is a critical issue in that other MDM—mobile device management.

Source: IDG Consumerization of IT Study 2014, slide 24

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