A 2014 article on the Forbes website says that the future is mobile. Today, 6 years after the release of that Forbes article, it’s clearer than ever before that the future is indeed mobile. With the exponential rise in the dominance of smartphones and other mobile apparatus, companies are beginning to pay more attention to enterprise mobile management (EMM) solutions.
EMM addresses the challenges peculiar to the increasing use of mobile phones for business transactions and other enterprise-related activities in the workplace.
In other words, EMM is a cloud-based mobile device management service that helps enterprise IT departments simultaneously manage multiple mobile platforms with one solution. Here is what you need to know about enterprise mobile device security.
The Evolution of Enterprise Mobile Management Solutions
As technology continues to evolve, smartphones keep increasing in their capacity to store information and perform more intricate operations that could only be performed by supercomputers in the past.
The staff members of companies can now rely only on their smartphones to perform enterprise-related activities and this is beneficial in many ways. Indisputably, the use of smartphones in workplace environments provides much-needed flexibility.
However, it also creates a serious concern especially in the area of security. Since cybersecurity remains a top priority for any organization, it’s necessary to control how employees use mobile devices to access, process, and store sensitive data.
Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) evolved from the growing concern for the security of mobile devices used for critical workplace transactions today. EMM solutions grew from Mobile Device Management (MDM), which essentially focused on device-level security as well as control.
What is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?
MDM is the predecessor of the EMM solutions. It’s simply the practice of managing mobile devices that are used in the business workplace to access sensitive business data throughout its lifecycle. MDM involves monitoring mobile devices and enforcing security policies on the devices. Some of these security policies include:
- Controlling mobile devices remotely
- Racking their GPS real-time location
- Wiping their data when compromised
MDM and EMM usually overlap. However, while EMM’s primary work is to allow business owners to leverage mobile devices and cloud-based infrastructure to improve productivity, MDM focuses on specific security measures to protect corporate data. This is also known as enterprise mobile device security.
No-Cellphones Policy Versus Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Before now, companies frowned against the use of mobile devices in the workplace. Many businesses enforced (and still enforce) a no-cellphones-at-work policy during work hours on the basis that cellphones could distract their staff and interfere with their productivity. It was so stringent that workers couldn’t even receive or make personal calls in the workplace.
But things are fast changing now. Smartphones now help employees to effectively execute complex tasks that were only possible on computers. Although the no-cellphones-at-work-policy hasn’t completely outlived its importance in many workplaces, business owners and executives are beginning to recognize the importance of mobile devices in the overall workplace architecture.
Now, instead of limiting the use of mobile devices in the workplace, numerous companies have embraced EMM solutions that allow greater flexibility for workers. EMM solutions emerged as a result of the BYOD trend and the need to protect the data that these devices access and use.
What are EMM Solutions?
No result-oriented business takes security threats on their network with levity. Therefore, it makes sense to pay close attention to the various channels through which security breaches can occur. One of such channels is the mobile technology used at the workplace.
EMM combines the functionalities of the older Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), Mobile Content Management (MCM), and Mobile Identity Management (MIM) to secure the data on workers’ mobile devices as well as corporate-owned devices. Any thorough outlook of the EMM will include looking at these individual tools, their applications, and benefits.
1. MAM Tools
These tools specifically target the installation, update, configuration settings, and un-installation of software apps on mobile devices. Compared to the MMD, MAM tools focus on the distribution and control of software apps.
2. MCM Tools
MCM tools complement the work of the NAM and MDM tools. They prevent the leakage of important data into third-party apps data by restricting their access to authorized devices and software applications.
3. MIM Tools
MIM is primarily concerned with controlling the access, use, and permission rights of employees to access corporate data. Examples of these tools are multi-factor authentication, sigh-on functions, among others.
Benefits of EMM Solutions
The EMM solutions pack all the benefits of the tools above to achieve the overall mission of securing critical business data in the workplace and to keep it as flexible as possible. But the EMM has its one distinct character. The major advantage of using the EMM tools is that both workplace mobility and security of data are protected.
With the prevalence of cloud computing and mobile devices in healthcare retail, education, transportation, and other sectors, security threats will evolve. Fortunately, the tools (MDM, MAM, MCM, and MIM) are evolving on their own; so the benefits of the EMM tools are expanding as a whole. Some other benefits of EMM are listed below.
- Mobile Asset Management
- Simplifying the use and flexibility of mobile devices
- Post-deployment device management
- User and device management
- Device onboarding
- Securing the use, access, and leak of corporate data
- Enhancement of corporate data security
- Reduction of IT help desk calls with remote device troubleshooting
An ideal EMM tool offers the above benefits and several others, whether your business is large scale or not. The tools also evolve as threats evolve and as the workplace attitude shifts further into the dominance of mobile devices.
Mobile technology is here to stay and as long as it improves workplace productivity, more businesses will adopt it. This will cause an upsurge in cybersecurity threats and probably enable malicious actors to be more creative. Hackers could cart away jewel corporate data when workers access them on their mobile devices.
EMM solutions are necessary if you want to insulate your business against potential risk. The technicalities involved in using EMM solutions for enterprise mobile device management mean that you need the help of professionals for their implementation.
RSI Security can help relieve the burden of security monitoring. We’re security experts that provide managed security, cyber defense, compliance advisory, technology, and training services designed to keep your networks protected against ever-evolving cybersecurity threats. Information security breaches demand smarter and more responsive managed security services. We offer industry-leading technology and expertise to help secure your information and assets around the clock, often at a fraction of the cost of in-house security resources.