Mobile endpoints have exploded onto the enterprise scene, and it is imperative that channel partners be able to help their customers create mobile endpoint management and security strategies. In this mobile endpoint management guide, you will learn the essentials of mobile endpoint management, security and storage solutions. With these mobile endpoint best practices under your belt, you will be fully equipped to offer the most suitable solutions for your customers and be the most productive in the enterprise.
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Mobile endpoint security and management: Best practices
There are plenty of channel opportunities in securing and managing the data that flows to mobile endpoints such as smartphones and tablets, but it’s important to recognize that there are also plenty of hurdles to overcome in offering mobile endpoint management.
To start with, some mobile endpoint management solutions haven’t been tested by the enterprise, so partners must experience a certain amount of trial and error as they would with any other new technology.
A good mobile endpoint management system prevents attacks, protects against lost or stolen data on the device, sets a user access policy for authentication, and provides malware and antivirus protection. But these services are linked to technical and legal challenges that come along with managing employee personal devices and identity information.
Choosing endpoint management tools can be difficult, causing further challenges. Vendors provide products to help, but not every product addresses the tangled web of operating systems (OSs) that power various mobile devices.
In order to be the trusted advisor to customers looking for mobile endpoint solutions, it is crucial to understand all of these hurdles and the potential tools or solutions that address them. In this guide, we will cover mobile endpoint security issues such as user expectations for business and personal full-use of a device, prevalence of compromised devices and data, the balance between privacy and security, using management tools, and operating system complexities with endpoint management.
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Endpoint explosion poses problems, opportunities
Part of providing mobile endpoint management is maintaining endpoint application control by determining which corporate applications will be accessible on these devices and then making sure that these applications are tweaked to work on these phones and tablets.
For example, many companies have designed websites without thinking about mobile browsers. This can be a real problem when users have to access their corporate websites on the move.
It's also important in a mobile environment to keep track of which applications are running on employee phones. Some enterprise-grade IT management tools bring phone apps under the umbrella of overall systems or network management even in a mobile environment.
Enterprises must also be aware of legal issues related to tracking these apps and devices. Recent disclosures that Apple iPhones and Android phones collected and stored location data of unwitting users caused enterprises to realize they need policy around what can be recorded on company-owned devices.
In this piece from SearchITChannel.com, read about the mobile endpoint explosion in the enterprise, the difficulties in implementing mobile endpoints in the corporate environment, managing the multiplicity effect and potential freedom in tracking data.
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Mobile device security policy begins with mobile platform comparison
A mobile endpoint security solution is one of the most important parts of a mobile endpoint management strategy. Part of creating this mobile device security plan for your customers is deciding which platforms, such as BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and Microsoft, they should support. One option is to get customers to standardize on a single mobile platform, which will alleviate confusion and complexity in their environments. But since that can be difficult to do considering there are so many mobile OSs that employees depend on, another option is to try to synchronize across a couple of platforms. Ultimately, you should always be prepared to discuss security variances in each platform and offer a clear assessment of security capabilities while encouraging your customers to choose which platform is right for them.
The next step is to consider which mobile device security tools your customers should depend on. Endpoint management tools should allow for control features like password and screen locking, device encryption and the ability to encrypt data in transit over the network. It's also important to provide extended features, such as GPS privacy that protects the location of employees.
Read this tip about mobile device security policies and comparisons between mobile platforms.
Enterprise data backup solutions for endpoint data protection
One way of improving mobile endpoint data protection is through mobile endpoint backup solutions.
Server-based backup (SBU) solution products run on a dedicated server and collect backup data from other servers or endpoint devices, typically storing it on a direct-attached or network-attached device. Most of these products can replicate these data sets to remote locations or to a cloud-based storage provider.
Until now, SBU solutions have not provided backup for mobile endpoints, but that will change rapidly as business applications and data are more often extended to smartphones and tablets. Channel partners would do well to begin planning SBU strategies that take mobile devices into account down the road.
In this tip from SearchStorageChannel.com learn how SBU technologies play a role in endpoint protection.