TechTalk, the vCom blog

vCom Enterprise Mobility Management Explained

Enterprise Mobility Management Explained

What is EMM? Enterprise mobility management software (EMM) encompasses technology and services to provide secure access and control of company information on employees’ mobile devices. EMM can encompass various manifestations but typically implements several services to protect company data and integrate it into an enterprise IT system while maintaining security.

What each company needs ultimately depends on what the mobile requirements are. Every enterprise situation will be different. Some will require complete lockdown on the employee’s device to wipe the device if it goes missing or becomes compromised. Some companies will focus on securing only certain applicable apps, while some may only focus on data security. The primary purpose of EMM is to allow employees the ability to be more productive while being mobile or remote. Explore the aspects of EMM further so that you can understand why your business should focus on mobility management.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

This aspect of EMM concerns using technology to manage mobile devices and platforms in their life cycle remotely. Typically, MDM involves installing profiles on a device that will allow a company to encrypt, control remotely, and enforce corporate policies on all mobile devices. When a device or employee is compromised, the company can completely wipe all of the data from the device. Another beneficial aspect of MDM is real-time information providing insight into device configuration, operating systems, and inventory while providing tools to help troubleshoot any issues or proactively avoid them.

Mobile Application Management (MAM)

Whereas MDM is the management of the hardware, mobile application management focuses on the software or applications of the mobile device. MAM encompasses deploying and updating mobile applications, including pushing to the device and managing licenses. MAM also provides a way to apply specific security policies to ensure device integrity, including removing potentially harmful applications and relevant data.

The benefit of MAM vs. MDM here is that the entire device doesn’t need to be wiped, only the relevant application(s). This approach is becoming increasingly popular for obvious reasons as more people bring their own devices to work.

Mobile Identity Management (MIM)

MIM can also take a variety of forms within an enterprise EMM framework. These forms can include certificates for user and device, authentication, app code signatures, and single sign-on. Limiting access to enterprise-relevant data and applications to only those trusted devices and users is one reason MIM exists. It can also assist with tracking app and device metrics to provide the proper authorization of enterprise applications.

Mobile Content Management (MCM)

MCM is the part of EMM that enables employees to access various content remotely, such as databases and files. Four primary roles exist under MCM: content security, content access, content push, and file-level protection. MCM is another way to enact authentication procedures and integrates with various standard services such as Google, Microsoft, and Dropbox. Authentication options include the following:

  • Two-factor authentication.
  • Single sign-on (SSO).
  • Behavioral alerts.

Main Benefits of EMM

The increased security of enacting EMM practices is the main reason to embrace EMM. Employees often access and exchange company information and data regularly, often on their own devices. If unauthorized parties accessed this data, the situation could cause serious issues. EMM allows a company to have oversight and control and potentially keep work and personal apps and data separate to secure company-related information.

Productivity is also enhanced when a company enacts EMM. EMM allows employees to perform business tasks whenever and wherever they need to, allowing them to work remotely, from home, or on the road. A summary of other benefits to EMM includes the ability to:

  • Manage multiple devices from a single endpoint.
  • Remotely push profiles and policies.
  • Track company assets with reporting features.
  • Detect rooted and jailbroken devices to remove them from the enterprise network.
  • Perform remote troubleshooting.
  • Issue Location tracking.
  • Undergo OS update management.

EMM Best Practices

Best practices can vary depending on the company’s needs, but businesses need to follow basic best practices. Enacting the principle of least access privilege gives the employees what they need to perform their jobs and nothing more. The less access an employee has, the less chance there is for a breach. A good EMM policy should encrypt all relevant devices, data, and apps. Another best practice is preemptively preparing for 5G access, allowing a more encompassing mobile work environment, further increasing productivity. EMM should also establish data security policies against jailbroken and rooted devices, malware, Man-in-the-Middle attacks, device loss, and other potential vulnerabilities.

Your EMM strategy should also account for the human element. Often, an employee opening a corrupted email or accessing a bugged site can cause the enterprise data to become compromised. Having automated processes can control service, administrative, and governance tasks developed for the full range of devices, operating systems, and platforms. Finally, design user-friendly management controls so that EMM is conducive to a productive employee experience.

EMM Use Cases

Now that we have addressed what is EMM and reviewed some best practices, let’s look at how EMM applies to real-world applications for mobility software uses.

Health Care Industry

The health care industry offers one example of a use case for EMM. Any organization dealing with protected health information, such as hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies, must adhere to various compliance standards such as HIPAA, which requires protecting any personally identifiable data. Enacting an effective EMM will help immensely in meeting HIPAA requirements.

Educational Institutions

Educational institutions quickly adopt electronic-based learning through tablets and laptops, whether owned by the student or provided by the institution. It is essential to protect these devices and make sure they aren’t misused. A successful EMM strategy can allow access to specific apps only, provide a method to disseminate class-related materials, restrict access to inappropriate websites, and block certain device functionality, such as prohibiting access to cameras within devices.

Transportation Industry

In the transportation industry, mobile accessibility to files, applications, and other data is imperative to achieve any level of efficiency. EMM service features can allow administrators to track the device location, generate a log of where it has been, and permit on-site remote transactions. Finally, retail locations use mobile devices for customer self-service and digital signature capture. As a result, these devices must not leave the building. EMM tools provide the ability to prevent the device from leaving the location, and if it does, it will shut down or sound an alarm.

If you’d like to know more about how vCom Solutions can help you manage your IT services more effectively through centralization and coordination, contact us today. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about identifying an enterprise mobility management solution for your needs.