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Mobile Device Management Helping Secure Government Departments


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May 10, 2012

Mobile Device Management Helping Secure Government Departments

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

Mobile Device Management (MDM) might not be the first thing you think of when buying a new cell phone. However, it’s an integral behind the scenes necessity in helping to keep smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices secure. MDM is software that ensures security, but also monitors, manages, and supports these devices across mobile operators, service providers, and enterprises.

Dr. Travis Taniguchi, criminologist at the Redlands Police Department recently discussed the importance of custom applications and MDM applications that local governments are using to help keep the streets safe.

Taniguchi said whether it’s using a tablet, Android (News - Alert) device, or mobile phone – the state can use these devices securely to obtain fingerprinting, give eCitations, and even complete a full incident report. MDM allows for these police services to be deployed without the need to worry about security.

Taniguchi said the idea to go mobile all started with his Chief. “He wanted to switch to an all iOS, all iPhone (News - Alert), iPad shop and so he pretty much made that push to do that. From there we applied for a grant from the National Institute of Justice, which is a part of the Department of Justice and they are funding us to do some app development, which is basically how we got into this whole business to begin with,” said Taniguchi.

He added that the department was looking for a way to deploy applications to its employees without having them bring in their device and having to spend the time installing each application on every single device, which led them to look at MDM solutions. “We went through some product evaluations and looked at various options and we ended up going with MobileIron because it fit what we needed to do the best and at a competitive price,” said Taniguchi.

Setting up the MDM service was simple and effective. Now, since implementing the service the department is able to use mobile device management to create new applications such as creating field interviews, crime mapping, locating where arrests were made, and observing overall activity within the department.

“There is some sensitivity in the information especially with some of the apps that we have been developing, so we have been able to push VPN services directly to the devices without having the user need to configure all of those services themselves,” Taniguchi concluded.

In the near future, the Redlands Police Department plans on deploying even more recommended applications due to the positive feedback it has received from officers. 

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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