Choosing the right MDM tool
There are a lot of things for an MSP to consider when picking the right MDM tool to protect their customers. While there are numerous tools on the market, not all of them can provide the breadth of coverage and quality of support that is necessary for good MDM. Here are some MDM best practices for MSPs to keep in mind when choosing software:
- Know your needs. Make sure you know what types of devices are on your network to ensure you get a tool that will support the different manufacturers and operating systems your customers use. Ideally, you should pick a tool that can support multiple platforms, which will prepare you for the future as your customers’ companies grow and new devices enter the network.
- Check the support services. While setting up your MDM tool should be straightforward and intuitive, that doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter problems with your MDM security features further down the line. When choosing the right tool for your MSP, you should make sure the product comes with support for any pain points in the MDM process. The product you choose should have a strong partner network and should provide support both before and after installation to maximize the security capabilities of your MDM product for your customers.
- Find out about integration capabilities. Mobile device manufacturers provide their own security solutions with their products. While these solutions are not robust enough on their own, these solutions can help save you time, money, and stress when it comes to mobile device management. Where possible, it’s best to get a tool that can integrate with the existing solutions on your customers’ devices.
- Make sure there are unlimited customizable policies. A key part of monitoring and controlling access to mobile devices on your customers’ networks is implementing policies. It’s important that the tool you choose supports unlimited customizable policies so you can meet various requirements for individual devices, groups, or time frames. Ideally, the tool should also allow you to build upon previous iterations of MDM policies so you don’t have to start from scratch when you move to a new tool.
- Ask what security capabilities you need and what is available. When picking an MDM tool for your MSP, it’s important to be realistic about what security policies you actually need to implement. Ask yourself: would I employ this on a desktop? If the answer is no, then you probably don’t need to apply that specific security measure to your mobile devices.
On the other hand, there are certain security measures that your customers will most likely want, and you’ll need to ensure the tool you choose offers those capabilities to provide the best possible protection. Common desired capabilities include mobile data encryption, anti-malware installation requirements, and the ability to locate, lock, and wipe a device that is lost or stolen to protect sensitive information.
Given that many employees worry about how such policies could result in their personal information being stolen, it is also best to choose a tool that allows for the creation of separate environments or a partition between personal data and corporate data. This will ensure that in the event of a device being stolen or lost only the corporate data will be wiped and the personal data can remain.
- Check for single screen viewing. With MDM, you are keeping tabs on a large number of endpoints and end users, many of which will have different policies dictating their levels of access. In order to be able to monitor them effectively, you need an MDM tool that will let you easily see all of them from a single, intuitive screen.
- Get a free trial. Not every product comes with a free trial, and of those that do, many provide only a “lite” or limited version of the product for free. This won’t give you a good sense of whether or not the product can meet your needs. Instead, pick a tool that offers you a full version of the product as a trial so you can test out the process of enrolling devices and implementing policies before you commit.
Implementing MDM policies and requirements
In addition to choosing the right tool, there are some key best practices to keep in mind for good mobile device management. These include:
- Educating your employees. For maximum network security, make sure your customers and their employees understand the policies that are implemented on their mobile devices. Staff security awareness training is recommended to teach customers and their employees how to protect corporate data in areas where the human element is a major factor. This includes educating them about the dangers of phishing, downloading unauthorized apps, and using public Wi-Fi to access sensitive information—all of which puts data at risk of being stolen.
- Setting security requirements. Require that all mobile devices used for work have anti-malware software installed. Corporate data on those mobile devices—especially communications, which can easily be intercepted—should always be encrypted. MSPs should also require strong passwords or passphrases, as well as biometrics where possible.
Interested in learning more about mobile device management? Explore our product suite to see how you can properly manage your mobile device network.