Proven Reasons Mobile Device Management makes sense in Education

Proven Reasons Mobile Device Management Makes Sense in Education

Proven Reasons Mobile Device Management Makes Sense in Education

Device Security

Use our products to prevent misuse of mobile devices deployed in the classroom for students. We allow you to password protect device settings so that students do not access unauthorized applications and websites. By doing so, teachers, school authorities and parents get peace of mind and children are focused completely on learning. The device can be set to be used exactly the way you want for applications and content. This will help you protect your devices from malware, giving them longer life and better performance. Web filtering technology for responsible web browsing in the classroom.

Diagnostics and Reporting

Kids are usually not careful about using the devices wisely and they may keep it on unnecessarily which will lead the battery to die quickly.  We help you ensure that your devices are always fit for use. Monitor health of devices, get alerts and notifications when thresholds get crossed. Improve process efficiency by collecting data and performing diagnostics. Generate reports for usage patterns including data and keep your expenses in check.

Device Deployment and Management

42Gears provides easy mass configuration options so that your devices can be set up in no time. After deployment, managing these devices is simple and easy with a centralized web console. All devices can be tracked and monitored in real time for their movement and use. This will also ensure that devices are easily found, if misplaced or stolen by kids. Wiping data, pushing software and taking control of device can all be done remotely, saving your precious time. Kiosk Mode for primary learners and special education applications.

Support and Maintenance

We help you maintain and support large number of devices deployed across an educational institution with ease. With our product you can remotely take control of a device and provide real time technical support, so that there is no interruption in the learning process of students. We let you group your devices and schedule maintenance activities like scans and software upgrades.  We support iOS, Android and Microsoft Windows devices. Our ready to deploy Microsoft Surface tablet bundles come with a rugged case glass screen protector and asset tag all fitted and ready to deploy. More.

Proven Reasons Mobile Device Management makes sense in Education

Get in touch to discuss how we can help your project take advantage of the proven reasons mobile device management makes sense in education. Learn More.

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 3

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 3

Enterprise Mobile Device Security - Part 3

Having covered the software side of enterprise mobile device security in Parts 1 & 2, this blog will cover the hardware options to make your device and data secure.

If you are thinking “adding an SSL or Mobile VPN and device management software seems expensive why not cut out the data over the air and just use local Wi-Fi or docked Ethernet when in the office”. Limiting data transfer to within the four walls makes it very difficult for “eavesdroppers” to listen in. Jobs for the day can be synchronized to the device over night, the user can complete the jobs throughout the day and then return the unit to a cradle when the shift has finished.

This obviously limits what the mobile system can do. No new jobs can be sent to the user, no changes to the jobs, jobs cannot be assigned to a different user, no remote support or monitoring no results sent back in real-time so orders cannot be processed until the next working day. Overall when going mobile the pro’s of using a secure connection and device management outweigh the con’s.

With hardware, how can a log in confirm the user is psychicaly present? Using a biometric finger print scanner is one option. The user can slide their finger over the scanner which will confirm it against the device or against the backend server. It makes the device very secure as only that specific user can login. Application can also asked for user name and password is the finger print scanner becomes damaged or too dirty. You will find a bio metric scanner on some laptops and rugged PDAs such as the Motorola ES400, or an attachment for the MC75a.

Instead of finger print sensors, an alternative option is a smart card. Just like a security card is using to access through a door, a user can touch a smart card to a sensor. The card can then be validated over the network and the user granted access. The issue with this is that a user can still lose the card. If available for your chosen device like a rugged handheld  the initial purchase and card replacements will not be cheap though.

The last hardware piece to cover is a TPM (Trusted Platform Module). These chips are installed on the motherboard, which store certificates, passwords, but primarily encryption keys. Threat of hacking (software or accessible hardware) or physical device theft is reduced, and device authentication must pass via this chip. Currently these chips are only found in desktops, laptops like the XRW and tablets but could be installed to all devices.

So in three parts we have looked at device security out of the box, the potential problems if not secure and the options available to further secure you device, data and network.

Key point: Think about mobile device security in the planning stage and before your project gets off the ground!

Enterprise Mobile Device Security - Part 3Do not get spooked by potential enterprise mobile device security problems call us to discuss how we can help your project to address your key business issues.

 

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 2

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 2

Enterprise Mobile Device Security Part 1 covered the basics of locking down a device using the in built features. These are a good start to locking down a device/applications but more can be done to be ensure device and data integrity.

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 2A mobile application normally always require a login ideally with an admin console back in the office where the passwords can be easily controlled by an administrator. Linking the password to Active Directory is another security feature some applications can use meaning the credentials will be confirmed against the business network.

This means password polices can be enforced, and user only needs one login to access the network from PC or mobile device.

Passing login data and and other sensitive data over the Internet in plain text is never a wise option. “Eavesdroppers” can essentially pick out the data travelling from device the server. The quickest and cheapest option is the add a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate on the server. This certificate provides encryption (usually 128-bit encryption and above) meaning only the device and server can de-crypt the data. An SSL certificate is also recommended when using web applications. You’ll commonly see an SSL certificate when entering payment details for online shopping.

A step above SSL is to use a Mobile VPN. There quite a few Mobile VPNs available from service providers but also available as software to purchase. An example is Mobility XE. Software such as this allows remote workers secure, and robust access to network resources. They offer FIPS 140-2 (Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 140-2) encryption which is a US government standard for non-classified information. Needless to say it is highly secure with very strong encryption levels. This level of encryption is becoming more and more popular with large organisations and local government.

When the communications is secure the next step is to lock down and control a device. There are a few different options for this. First is a simple lock down tool on the device, the master device is locked down, allowing access to specific applications and settings such as Bluetooth settings. This master file can then be deployed to rest of the device pool. The next level above this and a method of mass file deployment is a device management platform. SOTI MobiControl is a very popular product for just this.

MobiControl has lots of enterprise mobile device security features including configurable device lock down, remote control and help desk, location tracking, deploy files/software, allow/deny access for resources, enforce security policies and importantly manage a number of differing OS devices in the same pool, and kill the device if stolen. Killing device means the device will become inoperable by the thief.

Limiting and allowing access to specific websites can also increase productivity if the user cannot surf the web or access games on the device. There are other similar offerings, but SOTI is probably the most popular now, especially as Motorola now recommend SOTI as the remote management tool of choice.

Some application software can provide lockdown and remote control out of the box, but it very much depends on how many units the customer has and the level of remote support/control the customer wants to provide its users.

There are many software solutions for security, of which the more popular have been covered. Security of your data is down to the customer and the sensitivity of the data. The more sensitive the data, or desirable to a third party you feel it is, the more secure the data should be.

The final part in this series next week will look at security hardware for your mobile device.

Enterprise Mobile Device Security - Part 2

Do not get spooked by potential enterprise mobile device security problems call us to discuss how we can help your project to address your key business issues.

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 1

Enterprise Mobile Device Security – Part 1

Enterprise Mobile Device SecurityThe level of security required very much depends on the type of application you are running and the confidentiality of the data.  So out of the box what enterprise mobile device security can you expect?

As standard a device can use a PIN code, password or pattern to unlock. Some require a simply swipe of the screen. But these are not set off the shelf. Users/Admin have to setup up the PIN/Password. If the device is lost/stolen the data can be accessed instantly.

Tablets PC’s with Windows 7/8 have the ability to easily add another PIN/password in the BIOS start-up.

If the user must set their own PIN this can create another issue for BYOD Bring Your Own Device deployments. What if the user hasn’t set a PIN and the phone is constantly unlocked? Does the application require a password? Does the application lock after X minutes on standby?

Using an application which can lock automatically after X minute standby is a very useful feature. Not only does it stop prying eyes and keeps confidential data safe, it also means if lost/stolen the thief can’t complete bogus work orders, delete/add/edit or steal customer data etc. It also stops application being opened accidentally, buttons tapped or emergency services accidentally dialed while in the users pocket.

Where is the data held, and is the data encrypted? A feature of Windows Mobile 6.5 is an application to quickly encrypt the SD card. This prevents data from being read if removed and inserted into a PC. This is not the case on Android.

If an application is accessed over the Internet this removes the need for some device security as long as the web application requires a log in each time it is accessed.

Key Point; These methods of locking down a device are VERY basic and there are still vulnerabilities to the device and data. Remember that it is the data your worker is carrying around that has the value not the unit itself. What happens when a device IS stolen? How to track a device or kill a device? What about the highly sensitive data being transferred over the Internet? Remote control of a device? Secure Logins using Active Directory or Smart Cards and Biometrics?

Tune in for Part 2 next week.

Enterprise Mobile Device SecurityDo not get spooked by potential security problems call us to discuss how we can help your enterprise mobility project to address your key business issues.

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Is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ?

Is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ?

Ubuntu is backed by Canonical

Firstly what is Ubuntu? It is a Debian Linux-based operating  system and is the most popular Linux version for desktop OS devices. It is used by those wanting more control over their system and as alternative to Microsoft. But, is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ?

 

Now as founder Mark Shuttleworth promised it has a mobile version offering users a desktop experience running on a smartphone. The OS for mobile is actually the same as OS for Ubuntu desktop, so if running solely on the phone or via an external monitor the display will be the same apart from screen size. This is similar to something we have already seen on the Motorola Atrix, but since Ubuntu is running as a full OS it will provide full OS features and interaction.

Ubuntu Industry Proposition

Variants of Ubuntu are already available on Nexus 7 and Android high end devices with multi-core processors. When installed on Android the user will only access Ubuntu when docked with an external monitor. It turns your smartphone into a smartphone/PC.

What about apps? There are already thousands of applications written for Ubuntu many of which are free. Developers have the easy task of changing the screen layout to fit a smartphone screen.

What does this mean for Android and iOS ?

Competition and possibly lots of it. The Ubuntu phone OS is aimed at two communities.

  1. The Enterprise where companies are looking to combine phone thin client and desktop into one highly secure device. The attraction being that you end up with all the security of UNIX in your in pocket whilst using the same Ubuntu management tools from the desktop and server deployments.
  2. The Consumer where network providers want to bring lean beautiful smartphones to market that help to differentate their offerings from each other.

One major advantage of Ubuntu phone is the ability to upgrade the OS when a new release becomes available. If you have ever had an older Android phone and are stuck on V2.1 you’ll know frustrating it is when you’d like to upgrade. Thankfully this is not the case with Ubuntu phone.

Will Enterprise Mobility Device Users Flock to Ubuntu?

Is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ?. Unclear at present but it has potential and should be good for apps that primarily access the web.

It will be interesting to see how Ubuntu does in the battle for market share apart from being free, it certainly looks to tick all the boxes for corporate users.

  1. Close alliance with ARM. Will help convince the corporate community to invest in new non “WinTel” product.
  2. Makes further sense of building apps in HTML 5. No need to adopt another “native” environment for mobile application development good news for return on investment.
  3. High Degree of Security. Already a key element of enterprise mobility deployments.
  4. Desktop/Phone Compatibility. Could enable a whole new category of apps combining mobile and at desk elements.
  5. It may well add another dimension to the ongoing debate about BYOD – Bring Your Own Device.

Get in touch to book your free webinar or consultation visit and see how we can help you wade through the options for your Enterprise Mobility project.

Is Ubuntu relevant for Enterprise Mobility ? 2

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Security Risks for Enterprise Mobility and Best Practice to Deal with Them

Security Risks for Enterprise Mobility and Best Practice to Deal with Them

Guest Blog from the guys at Digital Defence. Security Risks for Enterprise Mobility and Best Practice to Deal with Them.

Security Risks for Enterprise Mobility and Best Practice to Deal with Them 4Digital Defence develop world class data and device protection solutions for mobile devices. Mobile device management solutions protect selected data and centrally enforce security policies on mobile devices – a true enabler for mobility.

Does your enterprise organisation allow your employees and IT users to connect their handheld computers, mobiles and Smartphones to your company-wide network solutions?

If so, you probably already know that you need to be aware of the data and security risks associated with mobile deployments. Have you developed a strategy which outlines the appropriate policies for dealing with these issues effectively and efficiently?

This article covers 6 best practices and policies for handheld device security. All of which can have a significant impact on the Return on Investment ROI of your project.

Potential Security Risks

  1. Physical Security

Simply put, handheld devices are prone to loss, theft or compromise simply because they are portable by nature. It’s relatively easy, whether by intention or accident, for an unauthorised person to gain access to a handheld devices, including the resident data.

Some people share their devices with family members or friends. Opportunistic thieves aim for easy targets and those they know are likely to have high value devices in their possession; anyone from couriers to travelling business people to service engineers are all at risk.

Identity theft is now a highly organised crime and high profile or enterprise level organisations that hold personal data about their customers or clients are attractive targets for data theft.

There were over 102,300 recorded cases of Identity theft in 2009 – Source CIFA 2010

Identity fraud cost the economy £1.2 billion in one year – Identity Fraud Steering Committee figures, 2008

If your handheld devices are configured to access corporate email or to connect to your Enterprise software through your Virtual Private Network (VPN), you already have a significant security risk.

Solution: One simple measure that is worth adopting early is to require your users to protect their devices with passwords or PINs. Selected passwords should be required to access the operating system whenever the handheld is switched on as well as to unlock the device in the first place.

Read the whole article from Digital Defence on Security Risks for Enterprise Mobility and Best Practice to Deal with Them.

Get in touch to see how MobileWorxs can help you with your enterprise mobility requirements for rugged handhelds a rugged tablet pc or software for mobile application development

Andrew CahillAndrew Cahill MobileWorxs MD has 20 years of experience in the use of enterprise mobility solutions and applications to improve the performance of real life business processes.

Andrew has worked on some of the largest Enterprise Mobility projects in the UK Eastern Europe the Middle East and Africa. He has user and project experience in helping companies think through and develop mobile strategies to get the most out of a deployment.

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