Mobile Device Management (MDM): 5 Frequently Asked Questions

How does Mobile Device Management work? What do I need it for? What are the essential functions? We answer these and other basic questions about MDM here.

Mobile Device Management - FAQ
When smartphones and tablets are used for business purposes, there is no way around mobile device management. We answer the basic questions on the subject.

FAQ at a glance

What is Mobile Device Management Software?

Mobile device management (MDM) software is used to centrally manage mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in enterprise environments. The software enables IT administrators to remotely ensure that devices comply with corporate policies and that data on the devices is secure.

In addition to distributing configurations such as e-mail, WLAN and VPN, the essential functions of MDM software solutions include locking and deleting devices, managing applications, and managing the use of data.

Most mobile device management systems are available as a pure cloud service, which makes a lot of sense in the context of mobility, since the end device is usually located outside the company network.

Why do I need Mobile Device Management?

The use of smartphones and tablets in an operational context is inconceivable without mobile device management (MDM). With a mobile device management system organizations can comply with data protection requirements – especially the separation of private and business contacts – to protect employees’ privacy, and not to burden them with complex configurations and installation tasks.

By using MDM, organizations can also ensure that their mobile devices are secure and by implementing and enforcing compliance with certain security features and settings on the devices.

In this way, companies can ensure that confidential data remains protected, and devices are not misused for unauthorized activities. In summary, MDM offers companies a way to increase the security and efficiency of their mobile devices.

What are the main functions of MDM?

The main functions of Mobile Device Management (MDM) are to manage and control mobile devices in an organization. This can include:

  • Central setup and rollout of configurations, such as email, WLAN and VPN.
  • Implement security features such as password requirements and access restrictions on devices.
  • Provide applications and updates to devices to ensure they are always up to date.
  • Management of data on the devices so that information remains protected.
  • Lock and locate lost or stolen devices and remotely wipe business content to ensure confidential data is not compromised.

Overall, MDM provides organizations with the ability to use their mobile devices securely, productively, and efficiently by implementing and controlling certain security features and settings.

How does MDM work?

A mobile device management system typically works by connecting a cloud-based management portal to a mobile device via a standardized procedure based on profiles, and from that point on, exchanging configuration information with that management portal.

To maintain privacy and data protection, access to the mobile device is restricted depending on the deployment concept. For this purpose, a mobile device management system is able to create a so-called business container, which ensures the clear separation of business and private data.

As a rule, the following deployment concepts are highlighted:

  1. Corporate-Owned, Personally-Enabled (COPE): These are cell phones that are owned by the company and issued to employees. Employees can also use the cell phone for private purposes, but the company retains control over the devices and the corporate data stored on them. The company has no access to the private area.
  2. Corporate-Owned, Business-Only (COBO): These are cell phones that are owned by the company and issued to employees, which may only be used for business purposes.
  3. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): With this concept, employees bring their own cell phones to work and use them for both business and personal purposes. The company must ensure that data security and privacy are guaranteed on the devices, which requires an MDM solution.
  4. Choose Your Own Device (CYOD): This allows employees to choose from a list of company-approved devices that may be used for both business and personal purposes. The company retains control over the devices and the corporate data stored on them, and the company cannot access private data.
  5. Shared Device: Devices are provided by the company and used by several employees.

Choosing a deployment approach depends on the requirements and resources of the organization.

What is an MDM profile?

An MDM profile is a type of configuration file that is installed on a mobile device to enable it for management by a mobile device management (MDM) system.

The MDM profile contains information about how the device is to be managed by the MDM system, including the security features to be implemented on the device and the settings required to use the device in the enterprise environment.

After the MDM profile is installed on the device, the MDM system can access and manage the device to ensure that it is used securely.