Mobile Security Featured Article
AirWatch Makes Mobile Device Management a Breeze
January 22, 2013
Mobile devices and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is one of the largest challenges for corporate IT today. From management and security to support, the proliferation of handheld devices requires a new approach to IT resources. Increasingly, that approach revolves around mobile device management (MDM) software.
There are several vendors that offer MDM solutions, but one of the providers in the space is AirWatch (News - Alert), an Atlanta-based MDM provider that has been in the space since 2003, when the technology was still in its infancy.
The AirWatch MDM platform is multi-tenant, highly scalable and integrates with existing enterprise systems, whether on-site or in the cloud. It plays with Apple’s iOS, Android (News - Alert), BlackBerry—and even Symbian and Windows Phone. Its MDM shines when it comes to activation, enrollment, security, device management, configuration, monitoring, and support.
Activation could not be simpler. An email or SMS is sent to the mobile device, and includes a provisioning URL, login and activation code. Devices can be placed in default location groups to help automatically assign profile information to the device.
Once a user activates, AirWatch helps IT administrators quickly stage a device with the proper configuration and prepare it for deployment. It adds the first layer of security, a directory-based user authentication scheme such as AD, LDAP, SAML, and makes users agree to an end user license agreement so there’s no excuse for employees who don’t know corporate mobile device policy. During this stage, admins also can blocking device types, platforms type or version types to checking for jailbroken systems.
While basic MDMs require devices to have passcode protection, AirWatch goes further by allowing admins to configure passcode complexity so simple passcodes such as a user’s last name can be avoided. It also allows for the enforcement of encryption on the device’s storage card so data can’t be extracted from stolen devices. Further, it can remote-wipe and restrict access to specific applications and functionality as needed by IT.
Device management and configuration are also two areas where AirWatch shines. Devices can be updated remotely and on an individual or group basis, custom queries can keep IT updated, and decommissioning or wiping a device remotely is a breeze. Documents can be automatically distributed to select users, too, VPN and email can be automatically set up, etc.
Likewise, monitoring is robust and easy with AirWatch. Device information can be tracked in real-time using an interactive dashboard or a web portal. Visibility and access can be tightly controlled, too, so what data is collected and who can view it can be controlled. Further, alerts can be configured for specifics events such as memory space, application deletion, etc. These alerts can go to the user or the admin, and can come both via the web portal or email.
AirWatch also shines when it comes to support. Using AirWatch, admins can send messages to the user, and vice-versa, which makes it easy for support teams to troubleshoot issues, providing instructions and images when necessary. There is a self-serve support option for users, and admins also can login remotely to diagnose and fix device problems.
It all adds up to MDM that takes the sting out of the mobility challenge.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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