By Sai Tayi, NetEnrich
Every organization is looking for the most secure way of communication between their devices, with a focus on how those devices access corporate data. In today’s mobile world, this means that everyone is looking for not just a secure desktop, but secure mobile devices as well. It has become standard for users to have their Outlook configured on their phone, as well as their laptop and/or desktop, which means extra security concerns for organizations, especially if this goes unchecked.
And of course, since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, this situation has been magnified immeasurably as remote work becomes the norm for companies across the globe, meaning now more than ever organizations need a robust endpoint management solution for remote devices.
For those operating an Office 365 environment, an obvious choice is Microsoft Intune, which offers mobile device management and mobile application development by allowing organizations to control device settings and configure device applications to keep company data always secure.
In light of the massively increased number of remote workers since the COVID-19 pandemic began, mobile device management has become more important than ever. Protecting the data on such devices is critical, whether it’s a company device or a personal device that is used for any kind of company business, including, of course, email.
Any business knows that protecting data is critical, and Intune allows you to do so, even if a device is lost – you can simply wipe all and any data off the device and restore it elsewhere. So, you not only prevent that data from being lost, but you prevent it from getting into the wrong hands.
Intune is also used to increase efficiencies and productivity because IT teams don’t have to spend additional hours upgrading devices or looking at which devices are compliant, which devices don't have antivirus, and so on. Intune provides a single dashboard where administrators can see all their reports and get any alerts because it offers monitoring capabilities across all enrolled devices. From data to antivirus, OS updates, application hotfixes, and so on.
The organization or engine administrators will take the time to do the work at the back end to ensure that the organization’s policies, such as group policies, compliance policies, antivirus update policies, intruder policies, and threat protection policies, are enabled. That way all the devices will be monitored at various levels, user permissions will be enabled, and security and application updates will be active and safe.
Benefits Of Intune
The whole idea of Intune is to proactively reduce the risk in your working environment – be it a remote environment or otherwise. The various layers of protection that can be applied via the program mean from the device user’s perspective, the only thing they must do is enroll the device and let admin take care of all the security.
The added benefit of this, of course, is that security’s weakest link is always the end user, so cutting the human element out of the security equation cuts out a huge risk for any organization using Intune. Even if an end user loses the device, the administrator can wipe the data and the end user profiles completely from the device, meaning sensitive corporate data is not on that device anymore. From email to downloaded documents to OneDrive, it can all be wiped, while maintaining any personal data that may be on the device.
This makes the user experience simple, with even a worst-case scenario of loss or theft or irretrievable damage meaning that the administrator just has to wipe the device remotely and restore the user profile on a new device. From both the user and organization perspective, this enhances productivity, enabling users to access their information, projects, documents, and so on securely and without interruption should their device get lost.
Meanwhile, organizations also face a simpler journey by being able to continuously monitor what is being done with their data across mobile devices and prevent team members from trying to access sensitive data or download any unwanted software or malicious software that can bring viruses or attacks to your devices, and, therefore, business.
And while these benefits are critical for a business at any time, they have a new spotlight on them since the COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions more team members working from home, often using unsecured routers, personal devices and so on. The risk factor can be greater just by people being without co-workers next to them – someone from whom they would normally get a second opinion on a questionable-looking email, for example.
Add to this the fact that during the pandemic, we have seen a significant rise in phishing emails as hackers take advantage of the emotional side of the experience, as well as the constant stream of information and misinformation that we are all being exposed to, and it’s clear where the benefits lie for an organization of having the ability to control and secure all company data on a mobile device. Ultimately, having an MDM offering such as Intune enables firms to know that their data is secure, no matter where their staff may be.
About The Author
Sai Tayi is a solution architect at NetEnrich.