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A holistic approach to MDM for security and productive gains

Thu 4 Nov 2021

Article by Devicie CEO and cofounder Martin McGregor.

Quality device management, from the cloud, has become paramount for ensuring business productivity and continuity. Since COVID-19, organisations have scaled their mobile device management (MDM) solutions to account for the rise in hybrid and remote working arrangements, particularly around BYOD. By all accounts, these flexible working models are here to stay.

With the first phase of rolling devices out to employees now mostly behind us, the next challenge will be in securing and managing those devices in a way that works for employees, and not against them. This requires a new and holistic approach to MDM. And while technology will be key, adopting a growth mindset is equally important in getting it right.

According to the 2021 Mobile Security Index by Verizon Business, 60% of companies state that mobile devices are the biggest security risk. The report also found that 76% stated they were pressured to sacrifice the security of their mobile devices in order to increase expediency. It’s worth highlighting what is considered a mobile device. NIST references smartphones, tablets and e-readers though in the context of MDM, mobile devices typically extend to include laptops as well. 

The evolving threat landscape paints a bleak picture of mobile device security. It shows ‘it’s not a case of if, but when’ a breach via employee devices will occur. 

While today MDM is synonymous with modern device management, there is still room for improvement. Delivery challenges, including the need for specialist skills and greater cost and time efficiencies, have not been done away with. Technology is only as good as the results it bears. And if a solution claims to do everything, is that solution doing those things well? It can take years before organisations realise they can’t manage their MDM solution alone. Often this effort has been at the expense of focusing on revenue-generating or value-creating technologies that can have a direct impact on the bottom line.

To compete in the modern world, organisations need to change the way they approach MDM. They need to adopt a holistic approach that ensures defence-in-depth security across every end-user device in a way that does not hinder employee productivity or waste the time of scarce IT resources.

The future state is where everyone needs to be. It is a place where organisations can quickly achieve an uncompromising level of end-user security, ongoing compliance and a positive user experience on devices. This used to be regarded as an unattainable holy grail, however, it is now achievable and something organisations can and should aspire to.

The advancement of cloud technologies, agentless solutions and automation mean it is easy for organisations to maximise their MDM solutions to move to this ‘future state’.

For example, organisations can leverage Devicie’s cloud-native platform to automate the customisation, configuration and deployment of Microsoft Intune – arguably the most used MDM solution out there – for more efficient management across employee devices. The platform also supports macOS, iOS, Android and Windows.

Devicie also provides defence in depth security controls across employee devices specific to the organisation to provide the greatest coverage of the security frameworks, with more than 300 controls implemented.

From system setup, the platform has full management of the device via Intune without the need to install any agents. This gives organisations complete visibility and control, and eliminates any security black spots.

Users are no longer required to configure or manage their own devices, with Devicie automatically doing this the same way every time, including up-to-date security, applications and organisational policies.

Ultimately, while Devicie and Intune work in tandem, Devicie automates and plugs holes in what Intune can’t do.

The environment is effectively a modern workplace-as-a-service, where organisations replace high overheads with a PAYG model for a cloud environment they don’t need to build or manage. Instead, they can leave this part of the business to experts whose sole focus is to provide secure and productive infrastructure that supports a flexible workforce.

The future state is a better place, where MDM extends to bridge the gap of security and productivity on end-user devices. It’s a place where IT has their time back to focus on more innovative projects that fuel growth, knowing in confidence that security and compliance are ongoing. 

To learn more about how Devicie enables holistic MDM, download Mission Possible: A how-to guide to reinventing device security.

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