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It is a manufacturing term for the administration of mobile devices viz., smartphones, laptops, desktops, and tabs. MDM is more often than not implemented with the draw on of a third party product that has management features for particular vendors of mobile devices.

Importance of MDM

The consumerization of technology, primarily driven by the swift espousal of smart devices, and the escalating demand for employees to use their own device to access the corporate network is driving the need for Mobile Device Management (MDM).

MDM software gives IT managers central control of devices on a corporate network, including device data, security, applications, web activity, and data transmission. It lets facility staff enjoy the versatility and efficiency of mobile devices without putting corporate or patient data at peril.

Here are four essentials of MDM that are particularly useful:  

Device security: It protects the devices from unlawful access by enforcing lock screen passcodes, installing mobile malware detection software, and setting up device-level encryption. Many solutions also offer built-in messaging platforms so users can send secure messages and without risking an over-the-air interception.

Remote management: In the event that a device containing PHI is lost or stolen, you can erase the data or lock the device until it is found. Some systems may give you the option to erase only clinical data, rather than wipe the whole device.

Application control: If an external app is infected by malicious code, it can siphon data from other apps on the device, which jeopardizes patient data. Application control helps you decide which apps to authorize and which to blacklist or disable. In addition, you can use “containerization” to partition an area of each device for dedicated work-use; that way, untrusted third-party apps are kept separate from, say, your EHR mobile app.

Reporting: To conclude, MDM reporting tools give you concurrent visibility into your organization’s mobile environment, including device status, user information, log-in attempts, and compliance with password policies.

Since the advent of “consumer gadgets boom” which started with the launching of Apple iPhones in 2007, gadgets and technologies have become a part of our day to day existence leading to  “bring your own device”  trend in our present day work culture. Hence managing the devices used across any private or corporate network has become a necessity, to ensure the safety and functionality of any network.  Mobile Device Management (MDM), a core component of Enterprise Mobility Management, is a software that is used to secure, control and enforce policies on smartphones, tablets and other devices used across a network. The MDM software not only optimizes the functionality and security of the devices used, but also provides protection for the corporate networks, against these devices.

The two main components of MDM software are an MDM agent (installed on the device) and an MDM server (that exists in the data centre of the network). The network administrator will configure policies through the MDM server’s management console after which the server implements these policies on the devices used across the network, through Over the Air wireless communication system, to the MDM agent installed on the device. This agent applies the policies devised by the network administrator through Application Programming Interfaces (API) that are built in the operating system of the devices used. 

Any MDM software offers the following features

  • Device inventory and tracking

  • Password enforcement for sensitive data

  • Data encryption enforcement

  • An enterprise app store for app distribution.

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