Workforces all over the world are becoming more and more mobile each year: 75% of organisations now allow employees to use their own devices in the workplace (More). As more work is done on the move, the need for device security becomes increasingly important. Over the 12-month period ending in May 2014, over 180,000 devices were reported lost or stolen to police (More), so there is a substantial risk to the data security of companies whose employees work on mobile devices.
In response to these risks, organisations need technology that can help them keep devices secure, as well as manage the data that users are allowed to access (mobile working often means a user is detached from a company’s private network, and managing user rights is integral to this). Maintaining the security of a mobile workforce is extremely important, and it boils down to three key elements: managing devices, controlling access, and protecting information.
Many companies use a variety of technologies to achieve these key aims, some of which have cross-over functionality, meaning that they can end up deploying tools with duplicated features. This not only causes difficulties for the IT Manager in running the tools, but it is also inefficient in terms of cost.
Microsoft offer a potential answer to these issues in the form of their Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). This is a collection of independent products that, when used together, can provide a cohesive solution. EMS has three core components:
Azure Active Directory Premium: a hybrid identity technology that includes self-service password reset, multi-factor authentication, and security and audit reports.
Windows InTune: mobile device and application management with selective wipe.
Azure Rights Management Service (RMS): access control, information protection, and ‘bring your own key’.
These three elements address the key areas for maintaining mobile security that I mentioned earlier, and because they can be bought as one suite, EMS represents a cost-effective investment, as well.