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MDM, MAM a 1-2 Punch for Mobile Security

IT management must not only protect mobile devices but the applications contained thereon. Learn how to tackle mobile security from all angles.

MDM, MAM a 1-2 Punch for Mobile Security

by Rob Patey | November 12, 2012

In recent years, enterprise mobility has become a regular practice within the workplace, requiring considerable strategy shifts from CIOs and the IT departments they preside over. As IT consumerization continues to pick up the pace, a stream of new devices and software will find its way into the hands of workers striving for an efficient, anytime/anywhere approach to business operations.

While bring your own device (BYOD) productivity benefits have been made clear, some CIOs have struggled to create comprehensive policies. On the solution side, there exists an assumption amongst corporate decision makers that mobile device management (MDM) or mobile application management (MAM) can get the job done mutually exclusive of one another. The truth is, both are needed for a complete lockdown of devices entering the BYOD arena.

Device management is half the battle

Companies take varying approaches to BYOD, though the challenges—including the need to boost productivity and ensure data security in the process—are almost always clear and consistent. MDM is an essential component of BYOD, as it helps mitigate those specific challenges for the devices themselves through security and best practice support.

While MDM is crucial, especially for keeping mobile workers in check, it is but one side of the coin. MDM will keep the devices secure and under watch, but MAM is needed to keep the information on the device in order. IT must act quick, as enterprise app management processes look to intensify heading into next year. At their ITxpo in Orlando last month, Gartner reported that “enterprises face a complex app store future as some vendors will limit their stores to specific devices and types of apps forcing the enterprise to deal with multiple stores, multiple payment processes and multiple sets of licensing terms.”

A combination of MDM and MAM can bolster these initiatives through more comprehensive and accurate oversight, while incorporating the apps employees choose to use for business functions. Some analysts have asserted that employees will be the real drivers of enterprise app adoption in the coming years, and this represents a need for governance tools.

Double play for mobility

The Enterprise Mobility Foundation (EMF) recently opened up the floor to discuss uses for MAM and MDM, hoping to determine which is most useful in the enterprise. The author of the debate, Philippe Winthrop, established that most organizations, especially those under more stringent regulations, need a combination of the two to succeed.

Whether for security, productivity or simple oversight, BYOD involves the devices themselves and the applications they run. The EMF added that MAM can take care of several compliance requirements, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), but makes it difficult to monitor employee devices as a whole. On the flip side, an application like email needs MDM to ensure security.

In short, it takes two to tango when it comes to BYOD.

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