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A 5-minute cybersecurity lesson – for you and your IT provider

Lantech Mar 16, 2023 11:48:00 AM
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The IT sector loves its jargon, but as a business owner with countless responsibilities, you shouldn’t be expected to understand it all. If you have an IT provider, that’s their job. They should be able to explain the difference between MDM and MAM and why they are critical for your company’s security. If they can’t – and an alarming number can’t – you could be in a whole heap of trouble.

It's not difficult. Let's start with the basics: MDM stands for Mobile Device Management, and MAM stands for Mobile Application Management. Both are used to secure and manage mobile devices and information in the workplace, but their focus is different.

MDM is primarily concerned with managing the device itself. It allows IT administrators to configure and manage settings on a mobile device, such as password policies, network connectivity and device encryption inline with company policies. Typically, it’s used for mobile devices issued by employers, but can be used to facilitate the use of company apps and information on employee-owned devices.

MAM manages the applications installed on a mobile device. It allows IT administrators to control access to company data by enforcing policies around app installation, usage, and data sharing. It has a lighter touch and is easier to implement – ideal when employees use their own devices as the policies only cover corporate apps and not the device itself.

A dangerous gap in understanding

Which is best? That’s a good question, but it isn’t necessarily a case of one or the other. Some companies use both as part of the security strategy a modern mobile workforce demands. Of course, your IT provider should have explained all this. But, worryingly, they probably haven’t.

At a recent technical conference, audience members were asked to raise their hands if they knew the differences between MDM and MAM. Only two hands were raised. This wasn’t an audience of enthusiastic amateur techies. These were people tasked with managing cybersecurity and compliance for small and medium-sized businesses. Possibly businesses like yours.

A comprehensive approach

IT companies often treat IT support and security as separate services, but they shouldn’t be. They should take a comprehensive approach where security is woven into every aspect of your technology infrastructure, from device management to network security to application management. Only then will you reduce your risk of data breaches and protect your business from cyber threats.

MDM and MAM aren’t obscure technical terms. They are critical components of mobile device security, and therefore, must be part of any comprehensive security strategy for your business.  

Now that you know the difference between them, check that your IT company does.

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