Last week GovLoop launched our latest guide on mobile security, Innovations That Matter: Your Gateway to Mobile Security. The report explores the importance of centrally managing devices, and how this process improves the security posture of your agency.
In addition to the guide, I had the chance to speak with Linda Baker, Smart Device Support Team manager, State of Michigan, and learn about how Michigan has addressed mobility – and the challenges that have come with it.
“Some of the challenges are tracking devices and supporting them, because there is a wide range of devices out there,” said Baker. In 2013, Michigan adopted an MDM solution to overcome these challenges. Today, Michigan is able to centrally manage over 10,000 devices through their MDM technology.
“The benefits have been huge,” said Baker. “We have devices enrolled in MDM and we can push applications through it, as well as update policies and profiles.” Another imperative is that MDM protects a device through improved password management.
“Prior to the MDM, there was only a recommendation to set a passcode on the devices, but nothing to enforce it. This was like everyone having a laptop without a password on it. People think. ‘This is my phone, what’s the big worry?’ But because you have State resources on it, we have to keep those protected, so the passcode is probably the best benefit, because that secures all our devices. We can also remotely wipe those devices if they are lost or stolen,” said Baker.
The State of Michigan is a great case study on the benefits of MDM. Without the ability to centrally manage devices, Baker and team would be spending hours of time working on tasks that should be automated. Our report provides many best practices on mobile security, and I encourage you to check those out. Here are three from the State of Michigan:
Carefully Vet Your Solution
“There are a lot of MDM solutions out there, and you cannot think that all MDM solutions are created equally, because they are not,” said Baker. Understanding your organizational requirements is essential. Once these are understood, you can create stronger RFPs and adopt the right solutions for your agency.
Start Small and Scale
Michigan is a good example of the benefits of starting small, and working through issues via a pilot program. Since Michigan started using MDM, they are able to understand user needs and anticipate future challenges. In the future, MDM will be used to help support BYOD initiatives in the state.
Build Your Mobile Security Platform
For mobile, the issue of creating a foundation to build on is essential. Organizations need to adopt flexible solutions to address the dynamic mobile market trends. For the State of Michigan, the 10,000 devices is just the start of their quest to implement a safe and secure mobile program. With MDM, they have a security platform to build on, scale as needed, and adapt accordingly based on user needs.
If you’re looking for more insights on mobile, please be sure to take a look at our report. We cover a lot of ground in the report, and provide you with some best practices to help you make sure you adopt mobile safely and securely.