6 Best Practices for Managed Mobility

26 October 2017 | Posted by Josh Bouk

The BYOD and enterprise mobility market was valued at $35.10 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $73.30 billion by 2021. As the wheels of digital transformation gather pace, more and more enterprises are looking to the expertise of Managed Mobility Services (MMS) vendors to help them achieve secure and cohesive mobile strategies. 

But what must be done to achieve optimum results in managed mobility?

1. Establish Policies

Strong policies are the cornerstone of mobility management and the starting point for any program. MMS vendors impart their knowledge and expertise by helping create policies tailored to the needs of their customer.

To promote a healthy and successful program, vendors should provide help tools, online self-enrollment, procurement, policy acceptance, and training. They should also be able to alert you if any users have disabled or deleted the MDM (mobile device management) software, once it’s in full swing.

A company should follow five key stages in forming an effective managed mobility policy:

  1. Build a policy development team.
  2. Evaluate your current policies. Are they working? Could they be improved?
  3. Educate your mobile users.
  4. Monitor and enforce your policies.
  5. Regularly update policies to keep in line with company needs and changes to technology and security.

Learn how to write a comprehensive but coherent policy for enterprise BYOD:  Download our guide.  <https://cta-service-cms2.hubspot.com/ctas/v2/public/cs/c/?cta_guid=5f7794e5-c66a-4e58-a18c-09c31229dcd4&placement_guid=8104f51c-6c89-43e5-a6f1-944ca2d7ae64&portal_id=2721860&canon=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.casstelecom.com%2Fblog%2Fhow-byod-is-perfect-for-manufacturing&redirect_url=APefjpHvfP3J5ufDnvrqN4GV62bcvS4g7zS2SzAdjSfU1IfD21nHLJ71DtHP9aptLJ093SxdwR86EdIRvgm6A-UketV_iQv-kO3YGzycK5NmfiId_tI4ILBPJQqL0vw4isxqQPjXAF-c6fIcRZJRBrazry_LzbggoNq_sixgnmfD4EC6zQXMloGqFDnuItjq1a8QKWlJjuVnF4AGUo7ZH_865jUHIDlTtpyF0mLeNdSU2jXkVfAqsbPCs7vYASf7Am2_5FX16mRSmF7YHi6NWol61lWU910KU7rjn1Qv-A6pY0uei8j2Eda0A7DdT2dcxTrSFkjIrIkx&click=42d97978-29db-4700-8b70-3fe81e16f7c8&hsutk=20f217130f7cb2e62feabdf87dc503cf&pageId=5356457290&__hstc=213738443.20f217130f7cb2e62feabdf87dc503cf.1505221699658.1539161798817.1539178811016.157&__hssc=213738443.6.1539178811016&__hsfp=138667961>

2. Confirm Scope

Managed mobility can broadly be split into three areas:

  1. Procurement
  2. Deployment
  3. Management

Carefully considering all three areas will give a good indication of the scope of your enterprise mobility. If you are at the stage of deciding whether to engage a vendor for MMS – and, if so, what you will need from them – this should add clarity to your needs. And when working with a vendor, you need to agree and clearly stipulate how much of each area you want to take on and how much the MMS provider should do.

Next, it’s important that a managed mobility program covers the full range of devices your employees are using. A common mistake companies make is to have a well thought-out program for corporate devices but neglect putting policies in place for personally-owned devices. For example, policies around acceptable use and intellectual property ownership.

Many companies are operating in a hybrid liability environment of corporate and employee-owned devices, and a good MMS vendor can support you with this, including the security challenges posed by the various devices.

It should be remembered that a managed mobility program needs to effectively cater for all regions. Certain regions will have specific requirements regarding, for example, data privacy.

Finally, it’s wise to remember that managed mobility activities do not just fall under the remit of IT. Mobility has implications across the enterprise, so policy decisions should have input from all functions.

3. Ensure Security

Mobile devices are one of the most vulnerable assets in a company’s infrastructure, especially when personally-owned. Optimal MMS programs safeguard an enterprise and its information, while still keeping devices user-friendly and appealing.

A good MMS provider will cover all the major security areas in managed mobility:

Containerization

Containerization protects corporate apps and data by partitioning personal and work content on the device. Company security policies are enforced in the corporate area of the phone, requiring strong passwords to access. Business email can’t be forwarded using a personal email account and company data can’t be copied to the personal section of the device.

Encryption

There are two sides to data encryption – data transmitted to and from the device and data stored on the device itself.  

Data transferred between the device and the corporate network should always be encrypted, for example over HTTPS or via a VPN tunnel. Data stored on the device should be encrypted via hardware and/or software-based encryption, depending on the device-type.

Authentication

Your MMS vendor will be able to help you deploy protocols for strong passwords  for example, length and alphanumeric requirements. And where this is not enough, they will support with two-factor authentication for an additional layer of security.

Virus protection and remote management

MMS software should enable a company’s IT department to centrally manage mobile-threat protection. This comprises the distribution of a mobile security app, the monitoring of threats, and running remote scans. IT is then in the position to proactively fight any potential attacks with measures such as blocking email access. Through remote locks and data wipes, IT administrators are also able to disable a phone and potentially erase all data on it if it’s lost or stolen.
 

4. Define Acceptable Use

It’s advisable to define parameters for acceptable use in your managed mobility policy. If your enterprise adheres to specific guidelines (for example those specified in a governmental act, such as HIPAA, or by a regulatory body such as FINRA) these will form the basis for many acceptable use policies. Other key considerations include:

  • The restriction of certain websites and applications, such as social media or those containing offensive material
  • Tolerance of personal calls
  • Guidance for SMS/texting and hands-free usage while driving

5. Coordinate End-of-Life Services

When managing mobility, you have to consider what will happen to out-of-use devices. A good MMS vendor will be just as results-oriented at the end of the mobile lifecycle as at the start, ensuring data is destroyed and devices sanitized according to industry-recognized standards. 

Working devices that are no longer needed by the company should be sold so initial costs can be recouped as much as possible. And any non-working phones should be recycled according to specific standards, such as the R2 or e-Stewards standards.

 

6. Great User Support

Employees may need help and advice at any stage of the device lifecycle, something that can take a great toll on IT if mobility is managed internally, and it's something that needs to be given consideration when engaging an MMS provider.

A dedicated team of named staff (not a generic call center) who get to know your team and their needs can reap many rewards. Their expertise in managed mobility will save you time and increase efficiencies.

Any claims that an MMS vendor makes about their service teams should be backed up with service level agreements (SLAs) regarding help desk response time and availability. There should be agreed penalties in place that are implemented if any SLAs are broken.

Conclusion

Mobility is in a constant state of flux. Policies and strategies that might have performed well a year ago won't necessarily do so today. Whether they're dealing with BYOD, corporate-owned devices, or both, MMS vendors and their customers need to work together to react to the ever-shifting technological landscape. New advances should largely be embraced and new threats predicted, managed, and batted away.

A considered yet responsive policy is the best place to start. If you'd like to learn more, why not download our BYOD policy guide today for free?

How to Write Your Enterprise BYOD Policy: The 8 Essential Steps

Topics: Security, managed mobility

Get weekly Telecom roundups straight to your inbox.