If you don’t have an Enterprise Mobility Management solution, start with Exchange Active Sync to enforce device policies and security.
Baby steps. While you might not say Microsoft Exchange Server in the same breath as enterprise mobility management, this product has managed more devices than any other system over the last decade. Since most enterprises already use Active Directory for identity coupled with Exchange Server on-premises or via Office 365 in the cloud for email, calendar and contacts, this is a simple way to get started. A protocol called Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) that dates back to the Pocket PC and is used by virtually every mobile operating system to allow the magic to happen.
So what does this have to do with managing devices? Well, EAS helps secure smartphones and tablets via policy enforcement. This allows you to require PINs and passwords, device and storage card encryption, remote wipe for lost or stolen phones, and S/MIME email encryption, to name a few. It also lets you disable features like a phone’s camera, removable storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SMS and others. If you’ve worked in the public sector, this probably rings a bell.
If you think managing your mobile devices via Exchange ActiveSync is unorthodox, remember this was the only way to manage iPhones until iOS 4 and Android until version 2.2 was released. I think EAS facilitated the BYOD movement more than any other factor.
Reduce expenses and risk to your company by enforcing security policies on your mobile devices using the capabilities found in an email server you probably already own. What basic steps has your organization taken to enforce mobile security on smartphones and tablets?
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