Guide on mobile device management (MDM)

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, where smartphones and tablets have become integral tools for productivity and connectivity, managing these devices efficiently is paramount for organizations of all sizes. MDM solutions offer a centralized platform for IT administrators to oversee mobile devices as easily as desktop computers, allowing for seamless enforcement of corporate policies, secure data management, and the provision of necessary applications and services to employees’ devices.
But what exactly does a mobile device manager do?

At its core, a mobile device manager acts as the gatekeeper and facilitator for an organization’s mobile ecosystem. From deploying and configuring devices to securing corporate data and ensuring compliance with company policies and regulations, the role encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities. It involves not just technical know-how, but also an understanding of the balance between security measures and user productivity and satisfaction. 

What is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?  

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a critical component of modern business technology, particularly with the increasing use of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops for enterprise operations. A GoKiosk encompasses mobile device management software that allows organizations to manage and secure the mobile devices accessing their corporate network. This includes application management, mobile application management, and ensuring the safety of corporate data. Utilizing MDM software, businesses can enforce policies on devices regardless of the operating system – whether iOS or Android – to monitor and control device usage effectively.

What does a mobile device manager do? 

Suppose Company XYZ, a growing tech firm, decides to implement enterprise mobile device management (MDM) to better manage its expanding fleet of mobile devices used by employees across different departments. A Mobile Device Manager (MDM) is responsible for overseeing and implementing the mobile device management strategy within an organization. Their primary role involves managing the deployment, security, configuration, and maintenance of mobile devices across the organization’s network.

Here are some specific tasks and responsibilities of a Mobile Device Manager :

1. Device provisioning and configuration 

The MDM is responsible for setting up and configuring mobile devices according to the organization’s requirements. This includes installing necessary applications, configuring settings, and ensuring that devices are ready for use by employees.

2. Security management

The MDM implements and enforces security measures to protect mobile devices and the data they contain. This includes enforcing password policies, encryption standards, remote wipe capabilities, and device lockdown procedures in case of loss or theft. The GoKiosk – Kiosk Lockdown application for Android locks down the devices by preventing all the unwanted apps.

3. Application management

The MDM oversees the distribution, updating, and management of applications on mobile devices. They ensure that users have access to the necessary applications for their roles while also enforcing policies to maintain security and compliance.

4. Content management

The MDM manages the distribution and security of content on mobile devices such as documents, media files, and other resources to mobile devices. They implement policies to ensure that sensitive data is protected and only accessible to authorized users.

5. Remote troubleshooting and support

The MDM provides technical support to end-users by diagnosing and resolving issues with mobile devices remotely. They may use MDM tools to troubleshoot device problems, provide guidance to users, and ensure that devices are functioning properly.

6. Policy enforcement and compliance

The MDM ensures that mobile devices adhere to corporate policies, regulatory requirements, and industry standards. They monitor device usage, enforce compliance rules, and generate reports to demonstrate adherence to policies and regulations.

7. Vendor management 

The MDM works with vendors and service providers to procure mobile devices, software licenses, and support services. They evaluate vendors, negotiate contracts, and oversee vendor relationships to ensure that the organization’s needs are met effectively. In addition to evaluating vendors and negotiating contracts, MDM also extends to managing third-party products that offer management features tailored for particular vendors. These third-party products that has management features may include specialized management solutions designed to work seamlessly with specific vendors’ devices or platforms. For example, there are MDM solutions that offer enhanced management features specifically for Apple’s iOS devices or Android-based devices from various manufacturers. By leveraging these third-party products, MDM administrators can ensure optimal compatibility and functionality for the organization’s mobile device fleet.

Why is MDM Needed?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is needed for several reasons, particularly in organizations where employees use mobile devices for work-related tasks. Here are some key reasons why MDM is essential:

  1. Security : MDM helps enforce security policies and measures on mobile devices to protect sensitive corporate data. This includes features such as encryption, password requirements, remote wipe capabilities, and secure access to company resources. With the increasing prevalence of cybersecurity threats targeting mobile devices, having robust security measures in place is crucial for safeguarding organizational data.
  2. Compliance : Many industries and organizations are subject to regulations and compliance requirements regarding the handling of sensitive data. MDM solutions help ensure that mobile devices adhere to these regulations by enforcing security policies, monitoring device usage, and generating compliance reports.
  3. Management and Control : MDM provides centralized management and control over mobile devices deployed within an organization. IT administrators can remotely configure, update, and troubleshoot devices, reducing the need for manual intervention and minimizing downtime. Centralized management also allows for consistent enforcement of policies and standards across all devices.
  4. Data Loss Prevention : Mobile devices are at risk of being lost, stolen, or compromised, potentially leading to the loss or leakage of sensitive data. MDM solutions help mitigate these risks by implementing measures such as remote wipe, device tracking, and data encryption. In the event of a lost or stolen device, administrators can remotely wipe corporate data to prevent unauthorized access.
  5. Productivity and Efficiency :  Effective mobile device management can enhance employee productivity and efficiency by providing seamless access to corporate resources and applications. MDM solutions enable employees to work securely from anywhere, using their preferred devices, without compromising data security or compliance.
  6. Cost Savings : MDM can lead to cost savings for organizations by streamlining device management processes, reducing the risk of data breaches and compliance violations, and extending the lifespan of mobile devices. By centrally managing and securing devices, organizations can minimize the time and resources spent on IT support and maintenance.

Can you remove MDM?

Yes, Mobile Device Management (MDM) can be removed from a device, but the process for doing so depends on various factors, including the type of device, the specific MDM solution being used, and the level of control granted to the MDM administrator by the organization.

Here are some common methods for removing MDM:

  1. Through Device Settings : In some cases, MDM profiles installed on devices may allow users to remove them directly through the device settings. However, this option may not always be available, especially if the MDM administrator has configured the profiles to prevent removal by users.
  2. Factory Reset : Performing a factory reset on the device will usually remove all installed apps and settings, including MDM profiles. However, this will also delete all data on the device, so it’s essential to back up any important information before proceeding with a factory reset.
  3. MDM Administrator Intervention : In many corporate environments, the MDM administrator has the ability to remotely remove MDM profiles from devices. This can typically be done through the MDM console or dashboard provided by the MDM solution. However, this method requires administrative privileges and may involve certain protocols or procedures established by the organization.
  4. Enterprise Wipe : In some cases, organizations may perform an “enterprise wipe” on devices to remove MDM profiles and associated corporate data. This is typically done when an employee leaves the company or when a device needs to be decommissioned. An enterprise wipe may also include wiping the entire device or just corporate data, depending on the organization’s policies.

GoKiosk is an intelligent app that prevents us from accessing notifications and also restricts us from retrieving data from a USB drive.

Is it a good option for remote workers?

Yes, Mobile Device Management (MDM) can be a valuable option for managing remote workers, depending on the specific needs and security requirements of an organization. MDM solutions provide a way to ensure that employees use their mobile devices safely and in compliance with company policies, no matter where they are working.

What can the mobile device manager see?

Mobile Device Managers (MDMs) can have varying levels of visibility into the devices they manage, depending on the permissions and configurations set by the organization’s IT department. Here are some of the things that an MDM may be able to see and manage on a mobile device. With the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and the increasing prevalence of personal devices being used for work, mobile device management (MDM) solutions like GoKiosk have become essential for maintaining mobile security. These platforms provide a comprehensive suite of management features designed to manage mobile devices across different operating systems, including Android devices. By enabling device enrollment and deploying an MDM agent, organizations can ensure a high level of device security and streamline identity and access management.

  1. Device Information : MDMs can typically view basic device information such as the device model, operating system version, serial number, IMEI number, and other hardware details.
  2. Installed Applications : MDMs can often see a list of applications installed on the device. This can include both work-related apps pushed by the organization and personal apps installed by the user.
  3. Network Connection : MDMs can monitor the network connection status of the device, including whether it is connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data.
  4. Location : Some MDM solutions offer geolocation tracking capabilities, allowing administrators to see the current or historical location of the device. This feature is often used for asset tracking or locating lost or stolen devices.
  5. Security Policies : MDMs can enforce security policies on managed devices, such as requiring a passcode or fingerprint for device access, enforcing encryption, and configuring VPN settings. 
  6. Compliance Status : MDMs can assess the compliance status of devices based on predefined policies set by the organization. They can identify devices that are not compliant and take appropriate actions to remediate the issue.
  7. Remote Management Commands : MDMs enable administrators to remotely manage devices by sending commands such as locking the device, wiping corporate data, or pushing software updates.
  8. Usage Data : Some MDM solutions provide usage data and analytics, allowing administrators to monitor device usage patterns, app usage, and data consumption.

It’s important to note that while MDMs offer extensive visibility and control over managed devices, organizations must balance the need for security and compliance with respecting the privacy of employees. Clear communication and transparency about what data is being collected and how it is being used are essential to maintaining trust between employees and IT administrators. Additionally, organizations should ensure that their MDM policies comply with relevant privacy regulations and guidelines. GoKiosk helps organizations improve their productivity by providing a mobile device management (MDM) solution at scale. The management team can manage what should work on their company provided mobile devices or user devices while they are on duty.