5 Key Components for Implementing MMS

By  Ken Lienemann, SVP, Tangoe, Inc. — May 20, 2013

Enterprises are exposed to a range of mobile threats that can shut down their entire system and expose the company to a number of critical issues. According to a recent survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Websense, 76% of respondents believe that mobile devices introduce a "serious" set of risks into the enterprise.

With this in mind, companies often look to mobility managed services (MMS) to control the mobile devices that access their networks and limit the potential threats that can impact their business. However, these solutions are only effective if they are implemented properly, monitored and updated regularly.

Enterprises should keep in mind the following five key components when implementing an MMS strategy in order to keep their system secure.

1. Evaluate – It’s important that enterprises evaluate their current environment to determine what the potential security problems are.  An MMS provider can help determine what areas to focus on. Determining how mobile devices are used within the enterprise helps the organization to gain better understanding of how to secure these devices to limit potential risks.

For example, organizations should be aware of the implications of BYOD. If an employee loses their mobile device that has access to corporate email or the company network, this could pose a major liability and could cause damage throughout the entire enterprise. MMS helps to limit these risks, as lost or stolen devices can quickly be identified and event shut down.

2. Activate – Companies should determine a plan to support all activities associated with carrier plans, large scale activations, and liability plan management. Having a plan in place will make the activation process seamless and will ensure the company has the best possible usage plan.

In BYOD environments, enterprises need to ensure that only approved mobile devices have access to their networks and data. During the activation phase, some employees may ask to use their own devices and this should only be approved if the devices are loaded with a management solution so IT has access to monitor and update the device.

3. Manage – Mobile devices that have access to corporate data and secure information should always be monitored to ensure they are protected and all risks are limited. A monitoring system should protect all mobile devices, their data, and applications regardless of type, carrier, or operating system.

Organizations can effectively manage applications, enforce security and policy compliance, secure content management, protect the enterprise persona with containerization, monitor device usage by geo-location, and authenticate network access for authorized users. Geo-fencing is a key management feature that allows IT to receive real-time notification of devices leaving/entering locations, prevents security breaches, and enables the organization to quickly locate lost or stolen devices.

4. Expense – Organizations must focuses on the operational costs of bringing visibility to their mobile environment, and should ensure they are paying the contracted rate for services utilized while simultaneously examining cost and usage patterns to optimize and discover additional, ongoing savings. An MSM provider should be able to process all invoices, dispute any issues and handle recovery of billing errors.

5.  Support – Implementing an MMS system to help monitor and manage all the mobile devices in the enterprise is an important first step, but the process should not stop there. It is important to work with an MMS provider that will continue to support the entire enterprise and to stay aware of new devices and potential security risks entering the marketplace. It is also important to have a help desk to support the mobile workforce anywhere in the world at any time.

By following these guidelines, enterprises can ensure that they have a strong MMS strategy in place to manage their mobile workforce and limit their exposure to risk. An MMS provider that is willing to help throughout the entire process and not disappear once the system is implemented is key to the enterprises’ long-term success in mitigating risks.

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