Mobile Device Management: Key Requirement for Secure Mobility

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Mobile Security

Smartphone development has compelled organization to look into its deployment, controlling, and security aspects because without inadequate IT supervision and control, it can cause negative effects.

To get rid of this situation, the mobile device management has come to play its role. Generally, IT Managers should be aware of every smartphone device used in an organization, including active or dormant device.

The intention of implementing Mobile Device Management (MDM) is to optimize mobile device along with considering the security of mobile devices within the organization. In this piece of information, we will know about MDM tools and its functionality, mobile vulnerabilities, MDM capabilities of mobile device management.

MDM Software: Multifaceted Functionality

Mobile device management software is significantly growing as employees prefer to use a smartphone device for work purposes. There are many MDM tools available that work for mobile device management, which allow IT administrators to solve and manage employees’ mobile devices remotely. Such software provides timely patches, configuration settings, application distribution for different devices.

The ideal software can handle below functions

  • All types of OS and applications,
  • Work in coordination with multiple service providers,
  • Implement over the air, can update hardware, OS and application,
  • Add or remove devices from the system to make better the network security.

MDM – Mitigating Mobile Device Vulnerabilities

Besides the above benefits, there are some additional advantages that may help to manage mobile security risk and mitigate vulnerability associated with mobile devices. The vulnerabilities are:

  • Attackers can gain control of mobile device to access the data directly or indirectly gaining access organization’s access remotely.
  • Many BYOD devices used to bypass root access, which is a trusted feature including inbuilt security configuration, OS usage.
  • Use of untrusted networks can cause MITM attacks or eavesdropping on the device. As a result, confidential information can be at risk.
  • Download from unknown parties can welcome virus or malicious software, which should be avoided.
  • When the mobile is synchronized with other system or data backup is stored at unsecured location, there is a possibility of malware transmission.

MDM platforms can help to lessen above vulnerabilities. However, handling mobile device is a multifaceted subject, which includes policy management, protected communications, secure storage, device validation, remedy, and scrutinizing.

Mobile Device Management Capabilities

NIST has prescribed guideline about the capabilities of MDM, it is also helpful for laptop and relevant system management products, which are summarized in below points.

General Policy: MDM system focuses on centralized security policy to restrict the use of camera or any other hardware like GPS, Bluetooth, media, USB interface, and removable storages. The policy should also restrict the use of software, browsers, email clients, application installations, managing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth device. The policy should also check about any policy violation happened.

Data Communication and Storage: This aspect includes a requirement of strong encryption between the device and organizations. There should be an encryption on the inbuilt and removable storage devices for the protection. In case of the device lost or stolen, the policy should also indicate about the wipe of stored data to save from data theft. If any third party tries to access the device several times with false authentication, MDM system can remove the stored data on the device.

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User and Device Authentication: To implement secure access, MDM policy also points to set secured passwords and authentications. Besides that, there should be prescribed parameters for password strength and false entry of passwords. Even the MDM policy should allow to lock the device placed in unsecured locations. It can compel devices to lock themselves if it is kept idle for a specific time.

Applications: The policy should allow to categorize application on the base of whitelisting and blacklisting. MDM can remove, install, or update application remotely. If the device is jail broken or rooted, MDM can prevent device from synchronizing with the local cloud based system. The MDM system even can dole out applications from a reliable app store.

Besides the above capabilities the MDM system can perform below capabilities like:

Expense Monitoring: MDM can monitor billing telecom expenses like roaming usages, data usages. It keeps the budget in control and helps administrators to gauge the average billing cost and monitor the usage of users.

Content Management: With MDM system, content can be delivered to individuals or groups of persons on their devices. A policy should reflect the terms regarding view of the content, but it does not allow deleting it accidentally or knowingly. There should be a time fixed to remove the content from a smart device.

Metrics and Reporting: MDM platforms can collect data from numerous devices and that will help them to sort out mobile security issue. They can foresee and track the issue trends too.

Conclusion:

Attackers become smart to detect vulnerabilities in device and target innocent users with the evolving usage of Smartphone, tablets, and PDA. MDM system can centralize mobile devices, monitor, and control the rising issues. In the current scenario, where people across the world are moving to Smartphone even in personal and professional life, there is always need of Mobile Device Management system in organization.

Series Navigation<< Mobile Security: A Rising Concern for Smartphone usersAvoid Malicious App to increase Your Device Longevity >>
 

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