Choosing An MDM Solution

This article originally appeared on Stephen’s personal blog. You can visit it here.

Right now there are several types of Mobile Device Management solutions.  They all have their place when you consider security and total cost of ownership.  Some of them are going to be much more secure giving more piece of mind.  Others are going to integrate into or leverage existing systems giving you piece of mind that you are not standing up an entirely new environment that also needs to be managed and secured.

We will be focused on MDM solutions that manage Android, Apple iOS, and Windows Mobile.  Blackberry is very well known for having one of the most secure solutions already.  Until a few years ago they were pretty much the only game in town when it came to phones carrying sensitive data so I’m sure they have been under heavy attack.  Very few issues have been published about the Blackberry solution and it’s not because it wasn’t a target.

Generally every solution out there is going to allow you to push email, calendar, contacts.  You will also be able to configure other features on the device such as wifi and VPN profiles.  From a security perspective you are able to force passwords on and enforce complexity.  Finally you can wipe out the work email, calendar, and contacts that you push along with any other settings like VPN and wifi.  Or you could decide to simply wipe the entire device.  These are the main benefits of having an MDM.  Without these abilities I.T. is going to be tasked with managing and supporting all of these devices which would be extremely time consuming.

 

Regardless of which solution you choose there is still some inherent risk today unless you use this solution in conjunction with something else.

1.   Containers
 
This is the first type of MDM solution that made it’s way into corporate environments.  In a container system an application typically found on either iTunes or Google Play is installed on the device by the user. When they sign into the app with their corporate email address and password the app finds the MDM server and synchronizes policies.  Once synchronized email, calendar, and contacts are synchronized to the device.  The stand out feature here is that these services are synchronized to the app that they downloaded.   [Read more…]

Let’s Be Frank Episode 1: Mobily Challenged

Dear Frank,
The users in my organization have a variety of mobile devices, everything from Blackberries to iPhones to laptops and iPads. How do I ensure a secure, mobile experience for them no matter what device they are on?
From, Mobily Challenged


Dear Mobily Challenged,
This is a common question that I get from almost every customer. “How do I balance the demands of my users with the security of my network?” More and more, personal mobile devices are making their way into the corporate environment, and the lines are getting blurry between devices and access. Luckily for you, the technology world is keeping up with these demands. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Virtual Private Network (VPN) technologies have given many organizations the ability to [Read more…]