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June 06, 2023


How Device Management Software Makes Remote Working More Secure


By Georgia Deery

 

While some businesses have made the choice to move their staff back to the offices full- time, many others have reacted to the lockdown years by truly embracing remote and hybrid work. This kind of flexible work environment can have a great deal of benefits for managers and staff. 

Office managers can reduce or get rid of office spaces, the expense, time investment, and environmental impact of daily commutes are no more, team members have the ability to be more flexible with child and pet care, and those who find office norms difficult for sensory, social, or accessibility reasons can focus on their tasks. 

However, working from home can also open businesses up to new risks which need to be mitigated, particularly from cyber-attacks. For some businesses, this means using systems such as VPNs or remote desktop, educating remote workers on securing their home networks and strengthening security protocols all around.  

Some may also restrict the use of personal devices for work. However, if your company are choosing to embrace employees using multiple devices for convenient work at home or on the move, Mobile Device Management (and Mobile Application Management) can be valuable security tools to add to your arsenal. 

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What is Mobile Device Management Software? 

Mobile device management (MDM) is a type of software used by organisations to manage and secure the mobile devices used by their employees. MDM software provides a range of features, including the ability to remotely wipe devices, enforce security policies, and manage software updates.  

One key benefit of MDM solutions is that it allows businesses to easily monitor and manage the devices used by their employees. This can be particularly important for businesses with a large number of devices, as it can be difficult to keep track of them all manually.  

MDM software also allows businesses to set policies to ensure that employees are using their devices in a secure way, and to enforce these policies if necessary.  

Microsoft Intune is one of the most popular pieces of Mobile Device Management Software currently on the market, especially with businesses who regularly use the rest of the Microsoft 365 package. The endpoint management solution supports both Apple and Android devices, integrates with mobile threat defence, and provides reporting and data from its web-based admin centre. 

What is Mobile Application Management? 

Mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) are two related but distinct approaches to managing and securing mobile devices and applications. 

MDM is focused on managing and securing the entire mobile device, including the hardware, operating system, and all applications installed on the device. MDM is particularly useful for businesses that provide employees with company-owned devices, as it allows the business to have complete control over the device and all of the data stored on it. 

On the other hand, MAM is focused specifically on managing and securing the mobile applications used on the device. This includes features such as controlling which applications can be installed on devices, enforcing security policies specific to each application, and managing updates for individual applications.  

MAM is particularly useful for businesses that allow employees to use their own personal devices for work purposes, as it allows the business to control the applications used for work while leaving personal applications and data untouched. 

MAM software also enables businesses to set policies to ensure that employees are using the applications in a secure way, and to enforce these policies if necessary. By using MAM software, businesses can help to prevent security breaches and ensure that their employees are using their mobile applications in a safe and secure way. This can be particularly important for businesses that deal with sensitive data or that need to comply with data protection regulations. 

How does it work with remote or hybrid teams?  

With MDM, only authorised devices can have access to certain sets of data, meaning that any device used by a remote workforce must meet the standards of particular updates and security protocols, as decided by the business.  

New devices can gain authorisation virtually through the admin centre and one person can have several personalised devices if, for example, they use their tablet to take notes during meetings but their laptop for day-to-day work, or if they have a sales role which involves spending a lot of time on the phone. If a device is ever lost or stolen, authorisation can be remotely removed in a similar way to protect company data. 

Admins can make security tech decisions for the entire company and automatically apply it to all devices, such as different features being available or restricted, different updates to apply, or different operating systems which must be used. 

If your company chooses MAM instead of or in addition to MDM (Software such as InTune gives options for both), whole devices aren’t automatically regulated in the same way. This gives users more flexibility with using personal devices to access resources needed for work while still monitoring who is accessing what company information and adding extra layers of authentication needed to view any data which may be restricted or sensitive. 

What types of cyber-attacks does MDM and MAM help to prevent? 

MDM and MAM software can help to prevent a variety of cyber-attacks, including: 

  • Lost or stolen devices: MDM software can help prevent unauthorised access to lost or stolen devices by allowing for remote wiping of data or locking of the device. 
  • Malware and phishing attacks: MAM software can prevent the installation of unauthorised applications, which can help to prevent malware and phishing attacks that may be delivered through applications.
  • Data breaches: Both MDM and MAM software can help prevent data breaches by enforcing security policies, such as encryption, and ensuring that devices and applications are up-to-date with the latest security patches.
  • Insider threats: MDM and MAM software can help prevent insider threats by providing visibility into how devices and applications are being used by employees and by allowing businesses to control what data can be accessed and shared. 

By using MDM and MAM software, businesses can help to prevent a range of cyber-attacks and protect sensitive data from being compromised. However, it is important to note that these tools are just one part of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and should be used in conjunction with other security measures, such as employee training and network security protocols. 

Conclusion 

Device management and Application management are both excellent ways to reduce the security risks to corporate data which can come from team members using remote devices. 

If your business is looking for solutions on how to improve the security of your remote workforce, or considering device management solutions specifically, why not ask SpiderGroup? We’ve helped hundreds of businesses grow, develop, and become more secure through the strategic use of business tech. 

Tell us what you require and your preferred budget, and our experts can find the best options for your business and help you to implement them. Get in contact today. 

 

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