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Mobile Device Management

News > Mobile Device Management

Mobile Device Management

 

IT professionals have known about malware that can lie dormant for a long time, but it was Stuxnet that raised the issue to headline status. The worm had spread around the world, but apparently was coded to activate only under conditions found at a specific Iranian nuclear facility where, the U.S. and Israel suspected, uranium was being enriched for weapons. In 2010, that facility reportedly experienced crippling technical failures.

"But what's most interesting about Stuxnet isn't how smart its authors were," Salon noted at the time, "it's how dumb they guessed we all would be. ... Its authors designed the worm to piggyback on the perfect delivery system - the ubiquitous, innocent-looking USB flash drive, the planet's most efficient vector of viruses, worms, and other malware."

The best firewalls in the world are powerless against threats that are literally carried in the front door. And as more of us use our personal smart phones, tablets and laptops at work - or take company-issued devices out into the wild - the more we all run the risk of becoming unwitting Trojan horses, helping bugs gain access to networks.

That's why mobile device management (MDM) is critical for businesses of all sizes. MDM centralizes control over all company-owned devices, scanning constantly for security threats but also pushing updates and patches. An MDM system can even wipe or shut down a device that's been lost or stolen.

MDM can also prevent personal devices from mingling unchecked apps and data with company systems.

"End users who want to access corporate data using their mobile devices should understand that data access comes with a responsibility to comply with corporate mobility policy," writes Sophos in a white paper on selecting an MDM. "When a registered device connects, the MDM system checks the device against a set of company rules like jail-breaking, password configuration or blacklisted apps. In addition to the standard compliance check, some MDM solutions allow you to embed corporate mobility policy on a self-service portal to ensure users understand and accept the policy before access is granted."

But this doesn't necessarily mean compromising employees' privacy. GCN, a web site for public-sector IT professionals, explains: "Isolating and protecting sensitive applications so their data is not accessible from other applications on the device means that administrators don't have to be as concerned about other applications on an employee's device or just how that device is configured."

If you're interested in learning more about MDM solutions, contact us.