No business can deny the usefulness of mobile connectivity in the workplace, but the rapid rise of mobile technology has also given rise to a raft of new security concerns. Many of us have gone through the experience of trying to recover a lost or stolen smartphone or tablet, but it’s not just the physical device you need to worry about.
Far more important, especially in the enterprise scenario, is the data stored on the device, which is likely to be even more valuable than the device itself. This issue hasn’t gone unnoticed, and vendors have created mobile device management (MDM) hardware and software to manage the policies governing the protection of data stored on mobile devices.
Often, there’s little or no chance of successfully recovering a lost or stolen device, so MDM strategies exist to ensure that any data stored on the device doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Equally important, however, is the fact that MDM also defines a usage policy to ensure that employees themselves use the device according to company rules.
How Does Mobile Device Management Work for Apple Devices?
Owing to their simplicity and extensive range of features, Apple devices are rapidly making their way into the enterprise IT environment. Digital security has long been one of the tech giant’s number-one priorities and, as such, iPhones and iPads provide a robust but easy-to-use set of tools to safeguard any corporate data stored on the device. Apple’s MDM features work exceptionally well — if they are managed properly.
Businesses might assume that the best protection is to rely on locking down a device to a personal Apple ID, but this can lead to disaster. If an employee leaves the company without correctly unregistering the device, it will become completely unusable to anyone else which, given the high price of iPhones and iPads, is hardly a desirable situation. MDM gets even more complicated in companies that implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.
Balancing company security and employee privacy
Apple’s MDM features are designed to give administrators the power to manage either company- or employee-owned devices without compromising on employee privacy in the case of the latter. In other words, it affords administrators full control over the storage and transmission of company-related data on any devices used for business purposes. The feature is known as Mobile Device Manager Plus, and supports iOS 4.0 and later.
The first step in implementing your MDM policy with devices running iOS is to have your employees register any devices they use for work with Apple’s enrollment program. You can also enroll multiple devices for a single user, authenticate users using your network’s login credentials, and automate bulk enrollment in bulk using Apple’s tools. Afterwards, you can create and manage individual profiles in accordance with your MDM policy.
Making better BYOD policies
Apple makes it easy to implement a BYOD policy by allowing employees to segregate their own devices for work and personal use. By creating profiles for each, administrators are able to retain full control over any company-owned data on employee-owned devices, but they will not have any access or control over the personal apps and data stored on the device.
In other words, company apps and data are held within a fully self-contained environment that administrators retain full control over without getting in the way of the employee’s privacy.
Mobile Device Manager Plus provides a rich set of functions, including the ability to blacklist and whitelist apps and monitor devices remotely. MDM also generates automatic reports for alerting administrators of any possible violations of your policy. Finally, administrators may remotely lock or wipe data from devices or, for BYOD devices, wipe only the work container where company apps and information are stored.
Here at Truewater, we adopted iPhones and iPads long before they started appearing in the workplace. We have the expertise required for successfully integrating Apple devices into your IT infrastructure while ensuring all necessary security protocols are met in the process. Call us today to learn how we can make Apple hardware integrate seamlessly with your business.