What is mobile device management?
Mobile device management (MDM) is a type of security software that company IT departments use to monitor, manage, and secure any mobile devices that are used in the organization, whether issued by the company or owned by the employee. MDM is also sometimes called EMM, or enterprise mobility management.
Devices that can be managed by MDM and EMM include laptops, smartphones, tablets and other mobile hardware. This software secures apps, policies, and permissions across platforms and multiple mobile service providers. It reduces risk to organizations and safeguards their networks and data assets.
MDM and EMM solutions typically include these broad functions:
- Software distribution
- Policy management
- Inventory management
- Security management
- Service management for smartphones and media tablets
Mobile device management (MDM) software allows IT administrators to control, secure and enforce policies on smartphones, tablets and other endpoints.
MDM is a core component of enterprise mobility management (EMM) and unified endpoint management (UEM), which aims to manage all endpoint devices with a single console. These platforms include mobile application management (MAM) tools, identity and access management, and enterprise file sync and share. The intent of MDM is to optimize the functionality and security of mobile devices within the enterprise while protecting the corporate network.
Modern enterprise mobility products support iOS and Android smartphones, tablets; Windows and macOS laptops, desktops; and even some internet of things (IoT) devices.
How mobile device management works
Mobile device management relies on endpoint software called an MDM agent and an MDM server that lives in the cloud.
IT administrators configure policies through the MDM server’s management console, and the server then pushes those policies over the air to the MDM agent on the device. The agent applies the policies to the device by communicating with application programming interfaces (APIs) built directly into the device operating system.
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