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Ten-hut! Military Attempts to Overcome Obstacles with Mobile Device Management


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January 29, 2013

Ten-hut! Military Attempts to Overcome Obstacles with Mobile Device Management

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Back in October of last year, the Defense Information Systems Agency (News - Alert) (DISA) was searching for the ideal mobile device management solution that would enables its personnel to take advantage of the BYOD (bring your own device) strategy, leveraging mobile devices for both business and personal use.

With the goal of allowing mobile devices to be leveraged by the U.S. military as well as other government divisions dealing directly with the Department of Defense, the organization clearly needed an even higher level of protection than even the biggest corporation. Hence, its first step was to begin accepting bids for mobile device management providers, which began at the end of last year.

Jon Green, director of government solutions at Aruba Networks (News - Alert), offered up his two cents in a recent article, saying, “We end up dealing with BYOD, where it’s the user, employee or service member who owns the device wanting to access the network. For that, MDM is really the wrong approach because it’s some entity taking full control and full management of that system essentially. It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out.”

Essentially, the increasingly popular tactic businesses are flocking to these days, known as BYOD, can help any firm significantly reduce expenses. This is primarily because companies are no longer forced to purchase smartphones, tablets or any other device for their employees. Rather, it simply lets them access their important documents from their gadget of choice at anytime and from anywhere. Yet usually several security-related challenges come into play within these forward thinking enterprises, as they must have an offering in place that will safeguard their information from unauthorized eyes while viewing it on-the-go. 

“You’ve got to bring your own device but we’re going to take full control over it, and we’re going to restrict what you can do with it,” Green added.

MobileIron is a company deeply rooted in the MDM space that boasts a smartphone management platform that is simple to install, can be up and running almost right away, and comes in both physical and virtual appliance form.

Some of it capabilities include an encryption policy, lockdown security, password enforcement, remote lock and wipe, app inventory, real-time permission-based remote control, enterprise data boundary with selective wipe and privacy policies, access control (Sentry) with ActiveSync connection activity, device visibility and blocking of e-mail access, certificate distribution, secure administration with role-based access, group-based actions and persistent logs and audit trails, and lost phone recovery (locate and map).

All industries ranging from healthcare education and financial services all the way to the government will see many advantages from implementing BYOD into operations. However, mobile device management is a critical part of keeping a firm safe while leveraging this trend, so one without the other is like a peanut butter sandwich missing the jelly.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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