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USDA solicits MDM technology

As technology evolves, so do the risks the companies face when implementing new solutions.

johnNielsenNEW2

USDA solicits MDM technology

apps, mobile application management, office 365


As technology evolves, so do the risks the companies face when implementing new solutions. However, it is important not to let the potential of new risks prevent organizations from leveraging new trends and technological advancements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently highlighted the importance of mobile technology in a solicitation for a robust mobile device management (MDM) solution.

According to the USDA's solicitation, the agency has recognized the importance of rapidly adopting new technologies and devices. However, it has also recognized the need for a centralized management solution that can provide control over a wide range of devices.

"In this rapidly changing environment, USDA IT must create an environment that is secure, reliable, scalable, and enables users at the intersection of mobility and [cloud] services," the solicitation stated.

Choosing a mobile device management solution
One challenge highlighted by the USDA's solicitation documents is integration. According to a recent Government Computer News article, the agency has already migrated 120,000 employees to Office 365 for cloud-based email and collaboration tools. The organization does, however, use its own network infrastructure and Active Directory in this effort. The USDA's documents can serve as a basic guideline for developing a more comprehensive MDM plan, which should describe the requirements the MDM solution should fulfill. These requirements include:

• Integration: Analyze existing IT infrastructure to ensure an MDM solution will integrate with it easily.
• Device support: Identify which devices the organization plans to support. Raplidy evolving technology makes flexible solutions the most preferable.
• Features: Identify the most essential features to help guide the selection process. Organizations should also ask whether the solution can be easily upgraded to meet changing demands within the business.

Mobile application management policy
Developing a mobile application management (MAM) policy is another factor to consider when designing a robust mobile strategy. As a recent BYTE article pointed out, the growth in application-based malware means it is becoming more important for organizations to consider potential threats from applications.

According to the article, an effective MAM policy clearly identifies approved sources of applications and is flexible enough to account for new threats. Business leaders must not only stay aware of new malware, but also provide education for their employees to ensure they don't inadvertently compromise corporate data. MAM software can act as an additional layer of security by blacklisting applications that have been identified as harmful. On the contrary, whitelisting, or approving specific apps, keeps harmful data from penetrating the enterprise network.

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