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Overview of Mobile Device Security thru Configuration and Application Management

After you’ve considered how you can secure the mobile devices on your corporate network from viruses and malware, you need to plan for remotely enforcing policies for device management and security. Remote device management policies typically include configuration management and application management as follows:

  • Configuration management: Involves deploying IT-approved software versions of supported mobile platforms. If you cannot find a single solution try to minimize the number of systems you would need to deploy. Configuration management includes things like managing the OS version of mobile devices and application and security patches, or supporting any other desired corporate policy.

  • Application management: Involves controlling the apps deployed on mobile devices. If you’re worried about mobile devices on your network running apps that you’ve never heard of or apps that are known to be insecure, plan for deploying application control policies to those devices.

    Such policies include viewing an inventory of all applications installed on devices in your network and being able to view the details of each application and the devices running it. You should also be able to select a particular application and either uninstall it from users’ devices or send messages to users that those applications are not corporate-approved and must be uninstalled.

    This is similar to certifying certain applications as safe applications, depending upon the criteria of your choice. This could enable you, for example, to deem certain apps forbidden within your network, or restrict mobile apps to a predefined list. If you desire some level of application enforcement and control, be sure to evaluate vendors that can restrict applications installed on mobile devices to a predefined set.

  • Backup and restore: Make sure you think of a way that you can back up contents of mobile devices running in your network. This is as important as backing up contents of desktop and laptop computers. This critical function could make a great difference in improving the productivity of mobile device users, who should be able to replace devices easily if you back up their data.

    This function enables backing up data from employees’ mobile devices and allows seamless restoration of data, potentially to a replacement device running a different mobile platform. If your enterprise IT can do so, it's a valuable service for employees, as well as an assurance to you that users will be productive immediately after moving from one device to another.

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