CHAPTER 3: How to Securely Manage Your Business Mobile Devices
Managing your employee’s many business mobile devices can be challenging.
Learn how Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology can help, including:
- How to provision and configure multiple mobile devices quickly and easily
- How you can easily manage access to content and apps across multiple devices
- How to track your devices’ locations
- How to manage mobile device cyber security
- How to ensure that confidential data is properly deleted from mobile devices*
– *For compliance purposes, it’s critical to ensure that personal data is deleted on request.
All good business owners know and understand the importance of security. Whilst some tactics in the physical world are obvious, like locking away your valuable equipment, it can be harder to fully understand how to protect yourself from the risks posed online.
One of our favourite expressions when it comes to your IT security is ‘You’re only as strong as your weakest link’, and for most businesses, this is often the mobile smart devices you and your staff members rely on daily.
The increased capacity of mobile devices has revolutionised how we can do business on the go and work remotely as the employment world changes. Modern mobile devices can run several applications simultaneously, allowing you to communicate, navigate and operate when you would once have been off the grid whilst in transit. It’s also easier than ever to connect to a network remotely – allowing your staff to work from home or indeed, anywhere in the world.
That said, many employees use their business mobile devices to access both personal and business information, emails and apps. Because of this, mobile devices have become a prime target for cybercriminals hoping to steal money through fraud, steal data or hold your business to ransom through a malware attack.
What to Consider When Buying Business Mobiles for Your Employees
After sourcing business mobiles with the right features, minutes and data for your business, it’s important to consider how you will manage multiple devices.
For example, how will you:
- Manage the complex job of provisioning multiple devices at once
- In the case of loss or theft, check device locations and delete data remotely
- Manage or limit content – such as blocking access to TikTok, Facebook or 18+ content
- Ensure the latest software updates are installed
- Ensure devices are cyber secure and employees are using strong passwords
- Access devices to delete confidential business and personal data when employees leave your business
To easily and effectively manage multiple devices, a Mobile Device Management application will help, allowing you to apply your IT policies to your business mobiles.
What is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?
Mobile Device Management (MDM) software lets IT administrators remotely control and manage all your employees’ devices, including laptops, smartphones and tablets. With an MDM solution, you will have comprehensive mobile management control across multiple operating systems, both on-premises and in the cloud.
When implementing MDM, it’s important to understand the scope of your needs and select the right solution for your business, for example:
An MDM solution that allows you to apply restrictions on networks, location, browsers, storage, keyboards and applications to keep business data secure.
A more secure and tightly managed MDM solution, useful if your business wants to enhance security whilst supporting productivity. The Kiosk Mode setting allows you to lock down devices – only allowing access to an approved set of apps and restricting access to all other device functions.<
Why Should Business use MDM Software?
MDM software allows your business to take a much more proactive approach when managing how your staff members operate their mobile devices. Mobile Device Management software delivers numerous business benefits:
MDM software provides a centralised platform to protect, secure and manage all business mobile devices used by your employees. It enables you to remotely manage and monitor your devices, set up security policies and enforce compliance related to data protection, data deletion, downloads and content accessed. You can also automate device operating and app software updates to ensure security edits are installed as soon as they become available.
With MDM software you can automate device configuration, provisioning and deployment – efficient and time-saving when
setting up multiple new devices. You can automate device updates and manage apps and content distribution. This can help reduce downtime and boost employee productivity by quickly getting new users set up or back online in the case of a technical problem.
MDM software can help you comply with various industry regulations, such as GDPR. It can also help you enforce policies related to data privacy, user access, and data storage.
MDM software enables you to manage a wide range of devices regardless of their operating system. Some MDM options can also work across different platforms and device types.
Choosing the right MDM software can help your business improve its overall IT security and help you manage the risks presented by cyberattacks. It is an essential tool for managing the growing number of mobile devices in the workplace and ensuring that your business data and operations are secure.
Government Guidance on MDM Software
The UK government describes MDM management software as important and has even put together a useful guide on the considerations when selecting the best MDM software option for you. We have outlined their most important points below:
- Make sure you choose a provider that is compatible with all the different devices used within your organisation. If you have Android and Apple devices, then make sure that both are equally covered.
- If you can, try to factor in a trial phase for your new MDM solution so you can assess the results before rolling this out fully.
- Both on-site and cloud-based offerings are available for your MDM solution. It is important to ensure that either option updates automatically to keep on top of the latest security and feature developments.
If you’re unsure about the best MDM software for your business, one of our expert team would be happy to talk this over and arrange a free trial – get in touch
Refurbished Devices for Corporate Social Responsibility
It’s understandable that businesses want to reduce their carbon footprint. And so many are turning to refurbished devices to lower the environmental impact, particularly if they have many devices or high device turnover.
This presents a much more secure option as the entirety of the device can be managed as part of your MDM plan. Although many people think of a refurbished device as an old phone, it’s possible to secure the latest handset models in this way – and save money too!
Disposing of Your Old Mobile Phones & Devices Properly
The compliance and regulation regarding how you dispose of old business mobile devices covers not just physical materials but also how you destroy the data stored on the device so that it cannot be accessed in the future.
As part of this process, it’s important to ensure your business has an effective data backup policy in place to ensure that critical corporate data isn’t lost during the disposal process. At a top level, we would recommend the following steps as part of your device lifecycle process when purchasing new devices – from smartphones to laptops and PCs:
Back up Your Data
Before disposing of your device, make sure all important data stored on it is backed up, such as contacts, emails and business documents. We would recommend doing this automatically every day as part of a Managed Data Backup policy or cloud strategy.
Factory Reset the Device
After backing up your data, perform a factory reset on the device to erase all personal data and settings. This will restore the device to its original state and remove any personal information stored on it.
Remove any SIM & Memory Cards
Make sure to remove any SIM or memory cards from the device before disposing of it. It’s an easy step to forget, however very important!
Implement Effective IT Asset Disposal
We provide ITAD certified IT Asset Disposal services, covering all relevant licenses and requirements to dispose of your IT hardware. As part of this process, we provide secure data erasure and data destruction to ensure your data is 100% deleted and can no longer be accessed.
If you’re found to be improperly disposing of your device hardware or alternatively not taking the required measures to destroy your data, then your business could be liable to significant fines or other punishment. You can view ICO guidelines to protect your business. If you have any questions or would like to hear more on Effective IT Asset Disposal, get in touch
Our Concluding Thoughts on Mobile Device Management
With mobile devices at the heart of business operations, the task of effectively managing them to protect against security risks has become greater than ever. MDM software delivers an effective, secure method to manage all your business devices, saving you time and allowing you to focus your efforts on growing your business.
Therefore, it’s unsurprising that the government recommends using Mobile Device Management as part of your overall IT security strategy.