Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Why manage Mobile Devices?

There are many blogs and news articles about which solution is better but very few talk about the Why?  Let’s not start into the debate of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) question.  Let’s look more fundamentally at the “why” part.

Companies are anxious about viruses, lost laptops and data breaches but this landscape was never thought of until well after ARPANET started to connect machines in 1969.  It was believed that everyone would work together and security was not well thought of at the time.  Later they started to inflict rules and policies like, don’t send personal data or personal emails over the network.  It was when Morris created what would be later known as the first worm in 1988 and released it to gauge the depth of the Internet and wreaked havoc on the machines that everyone took a serious view of why we need to protected the landscape and write better code.  We have now seen the ability to crash an IPHONE with a special Text message.  What is next?

Why do we want mobile device management?

Control over:

  • Upgrades of Operating System
  • Software install/upgrade of applications
  • Access, Policy and settings
  • Geo-fencing of data or applications
  • What about what we haven’t thought of?

This is just a small view of what companies want to control.  If there is a vulnerability in the OS of the device, grant them control of what do to: Upgrade the device, lock it down, etc.  Everyone wants to protect the company.  I am not going to move into the “user rights vs company protection”. 

You can see many of the desktop management slowly moving to the mobile devices such as policy restrictions, software installs or upgrades.

Let’s think further down the road why it is important to manage not just the mobile devices we carry in our pocket but the IoT (Internet of Things) that run our lives!

Just as you now have A/C, washer, sprinkler service areas, you will soon have more of an IT service personnel at your house making sure they all talk to each other and the “central office”.  No longer will you just have the IT repair person come fix your computer nor will you take your machine to the store to be fixed.  You will have them come in and perform an inspection, yearly or monthly maintenance on devices that control your life.  Each one of your devices might require software, firmware, or possibly even a chip/board upgrade to keep your house secure and compliant.  You don’t want someone hacking your thermostat to gain access to your electronic safe or worse, turn off the security system, open the garage door and walk in.

It is important that all companies and even individuals look in to management of Internet based devices.  Soon the consumer might need to manage their other devices much like they do their car, A/C unit and other “maintenance required” equipment, only this time it is an electronic device interacting with other devices and possibly the Internet.

Embrace device management, no matter if you’re an individual, big or small company.  I look forward to the protection and management of all devices.

This is why Microsoft increased the cadence of Software releases and is slowly adding features to Intune. 

Check out the April 2016 feature list: