Mobile Device Management (MDM) is one of the most important business tools used by UK organizations. This is a system that helps IT administrators to secure and control the tablets, smartphones and computers used by an organization's employees.
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Thanks to new and modern initiatives such as hot-desking andbring your own device (BYOD), and obviously the recent increaseremote work, MDM has become more and more popular in recent years. In particular, COVID-19 has caused an increase in demand for this tool among companies looking to adopt MDM solutions. With the world of work currently transitioning to a hybrid model, this demand is likely to continue or even grow, and UK companies are looking to ensure that endpoints distributed across their networks remain secure.
is essential forGDPRcompliance to ensure that your employees can access only the data they need and cannot access other information. After all, organizations will try to stay as compliant as possible to reduce the chance of being fined. Two ways that MDM systems can help companies on their compliance journey are by blocking data if a device is lost or by restricting access to data for employees.
In addition to smartphones, MDM systems can manage laptops, tablets and desktop computers. This makes them extremely useful as they can manage cybersecurity risks across all devices in the workplace. For example, malware can be inadvertently downloaded in a variety of ways, such as through phishing attacks, and infect multiple devices regardless of its form. The best MDM systems out there will manage multiple devices at the same time, removing or treating those infected with malware before the infection has time to spread.
Whatever your needs for an MDM solution, there are many options available from a variety of vendors. Here's a rundown of some of the best options, including offerings from IBM, Citrix, and more.
Perhaps one of the most well-known MDM platforms, Cisco Meraki allows you to manage all types of devices in your enterprise from a single pane of glass. No matter what you need to monitor, be it Android or iOSsmart phones, or Linux, macOS, and Windows PCs, you can. There's also an app for managing devices while you're away from your computer, monitoring usage, and making sure all your data is safe and sound.
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Cisco Meraki offers a rich feature set that lets you enforce device security policies, deploy software and applications, and runremote troubleshootingIf any issues arise, monitor calls and more on devices on your network. Each managed and monitored device is considered a separate device, even if they are paired. This means you can, for example, allow certain apps to run on an employee's iPad, but not the linked smartphone.
Cisco Meraki allows all of this to happen over the network, so even if you're trying to manage remote workers' devices, it's a breeze. You can control everything without anyone needing to be on the same network. It's also easy to test the platform with a browser-based demo with network devices and scheduled users. In addition, you can order trial hardware and get technical support to help you get set up.
Prices:available upon request
IBM entered the MDM market after acquiring Fiberlink Communications in 2013. Since then, Big Blue has made major improvements to its flagship MDM product. Powered by Watson AI, the service will easily integrate with your existing IT infrastructure, allowing you to manage a diverse and complex endpoint and mobile environment.
IBM Maas360 also puts security at the forefront, protecting and containing data accessed by users and keeping applications and corporate content separate, while allowing for easy deletion and revocation of access. Its built-in threat defense also proactively protects corporate data.
IBM may not be the cheapest, especially as some of the services you find bundled with other vendors cost more, but with IBM's long experience in enterprise security, you know you're getting a good quality solution for your money.
Prices:From $4.00 (£3.32) per client device per month
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Hexnode MDM lets you provision and manage devices and prides itself on its user-friendly design. Users can add their own devices by connecting to the network or using a portal installed on the company's website or intranet. Your device will be added using your Active Directory credentials.
Once you add the devices, you can manage them whether they are connected to the corporate network or used remotely. This means you can push configuration settings to the device, restrict functionality, manage mobile apps (including blocking App Store downloads and implementing a white/black list), verify and enforce compliance, and even automatically lock and wipe devices.
Hexnode MDM also offers a 30-day free trial if you want to try it out.
Prices:Starting at $1.08 (90p) per device/month
Soti lets you manage Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows devices from a single location, throughout the entire device lifecycle within your organization. They can be provisioned when first added to a company's fleet of devices, managed across the service, and deleted when retired.
The platform is designed for use with rugged devices commonly used by field workers and the healthcare, logistics, retail and transportation industries.
The MDM platform can be installed on-premises or deployed in the Soti cloud. You can add devices to the platform using its quick registration feature, which automatically provides the settings, applications and files a user needs wirelessly to get them up and running.
Prices:available on request
Citrix Secure Private Access
Citrix Secure Private Access, formerly known as Citrix Endpoint Management, is a zero trust network access tool with MDM capabilities. It enables containerization of business applications and personal applications, making it more suitable for BYOD workplaces. All devices, including desktop computers, smartphones and tablets, can be managed from a centralized console, and devices don't even need to be registered to benefit from MAM.
In addition to allowing the device owner to use an organization-provided and managed device, Citrix Secure Private Access is also designed to allow multiple users to access a mobile device. This is particularly useful for industries like healthcare, where field workers and emergency services workers may need shared ownership of a device.
However, it is likely that a device needs applications and services provided with different access rights and this can be easily configured with the MAM features of Secure Private Access. IT admins can also lock the device based on network location, preventing staff from using certain features outside the corporate network.
Prices:From $3 (£2.52) per device/month
VMware Workspace UNO
VMware Workspace ONE (formerly known as Airwatch prior to its acquisition by VMware) provides endpoint protection for all devices, regardless of operating system, with full device management, whether it's a BYOD or shared corporate device.
You can deploy and manage any application through the platform's application catalog, whether employees try to access them natively, on device, over the web or remotely. Individual user, endpoint, data and network layered security can also be centrally managed using the same mobility platform.
Workspace ONE uses automation to perform many daily MDM tasks, reducing IT staff stress. You don't need to manually provision or enroll devices; this happens without the need for manpower, making it a perfect option for companies with limited resources.
Prices:From $1.66 (£1.39) per device/month
The future of mobile device management
As life begins to return to offices around the world, it's never been more important to ensure your organization's employees have great security. IT departments will likely continue to see this as one of their biggest challenges as well.
Part of that is due to how popular hybrid working has become lately. There have been several attempts to make this popular, including by Salesforce who decided in February 2021offer employees a choice of three templates to work from. They were offices in San Francisco, flexible or fully remote. This is a huge step forward when you consider that approximately 18% of the company's employees were fully remote before the pandemic.compared to 50% in June 2021.
Some companies have gone a step further, like Airbnb,What did you tell the employees?in April 2022 they can work “anywhere”, regardless of the country where they live. The company's new remote work policies established that employees could also enjoy up to 90 days of work abroad.
Despite these benefits, combining office and remote work can be problematic when it comes to security. This is because the lines between what constitutes a device for home and work inevitably blur, even if the organization provides the employee with dedicated hardware. Importantly, it also involves workers who regularly access their private networks from home, risking falling victim to a wide range of threats and even transferring malware to an organization's network when working in the office. Companies should not only think about adopting a clear BYOD policy, but also be more vigilant when it comes to the security of their network.
With more employees returning to company ownership, even in a hybrid working model, MDM solutions will have an important role to play not only with regard to security, but also inGDPR compliancealso. Bear in mind, however, that this can come at a high cost. Decide which MDM option would be best for your business before investing anything. It's also best to think about the scalability and price of the software, how good its security is, and how many devices or employees it can support. Obviously, there are other things you need to consider before shopping for your ideal MDM solution, but this is a good starting point.
Of course, it would also help to create the appropriate MDM business case on how likely you are to see ROI. However, security should be of utmost importance for any business. Failure to protect data can be catastrophic for a business, so there's no excuse for not taking all necessary steps to ensure your business keeps running.
- Cell phones
- cell phone security
- business apps
- mobile device management (MDM)
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Which is the best MDM? ›
- AirDroid Business.
- ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus.
- Microsoft Intune.
- Google Workspace MDM.
- IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson.
According to research from Oxford Economics and Samsung, a purchased MDM solution costs between $3.25 and $9 per device, per month.Does Apple have an MDM solution? ›
iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS have a built-in framework that supports mobile device management (MDM). MDM lets you securely and wirelessly configure devices by sending profiles and commands to the device, whether they're owned by the user or your organization.What are the four types of MDM? ›
- MDM implementation 1: The Registry style.
- MDM implementation 2: The Consolidation style.
- MDM implementation 3: The Coexistence style.
- MDM implementation 4: Transaction/Centralized style.
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