As smartphones and tablets become commonplace, and as employees make the case to bring various kinds of devices into the workplace, IT faces the challenge of managing access, usage, and security across multiple mobile devices.
To address that need, many vendors have developed mobile device management (MDM) tools that provide a central console to manage multiple devices over the air with a common set of policies, ensuring consistent policy enforcement and providing auditing capabilities as well.
Common capabilities include remote wipe and lock, password enforcement, device encryption enforcement, restricted access to designated virtual private networks (VPNs) and Wi-Fi networks, and remote policy installation.
These tools use one of two approaches, and sometimes both: they use policy profiles, typically based on the widely used Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol, and they use a client application on each supported device to provide the managed, secured workspace and additional policies. Those that support the BlackBerry work with Research In Motion’s own tool, BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).