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Today’s enterprise landscape is grappling with a huge problem — device management. COVID-19 forced many businesses to adopt work-from-home (WFH) and hybrid work models — which resulted in a sporadic increase in the number of devices employees use for work tasks — and that has remained the new normal for businesses across the world more than two years after the pandemic. A survey of 127 company leaders, representing HR, legal and compliance, finance and real estate, by research firm Gartner during the lockdown showed “nearly half (47%) of respondents said they intend to allow employees to work remotely full-time going forward, while 82% at that time said they would allow employees to work remotely most of the time.”
Particularly, the corporate landscape is witnessing a paradigm shift, especially with the emergence of cloud-native applications. According to research by CompTIA, 61% of businesses migrated to the cloud to support remote workloads in 2020 alone. With many companies keeping a remote or hybrid working environment, cloud technology is more essential than ever. This shift prompts companies to adopt a blend of corporate and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies.
Another survey of 271 cybersecurity professionals found 70% of organizations allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace. But BYOD goes beyond typical employees; it applies to contractors (26% of organizations), partners (21%), customers (18%), and suppliers (14%) as well. While these WFH, hybrid, and BYOD models to business operations help to improve productivity and collaboration among teams, they also come with their own challenges.
One such challenge revolves around device management. With many enterprises now having so many devices performing business operations, the need for laser-sharp oversight of these devices has never been more critical than it is today. Businesses continue to seek an answer to the one big question: How do we balance productivity with security?
Larger device fleets predispose enterprises to security risks
“More devices mean more security risks,” says Nadav Avni, CMO at device management company Radix, and many industry leaders support his assertion. This article by Dr Michelle Moor, Academic Director and Professor of Practice at the University of San Diego, is one of many that confirm “more connected devices means greater risk, making IoT networks more vulnerable to cyber invasions and infections.”
Employees find it desirable to use personal mobile devices for their work and make no distinction between using their carriers’ services versus their organizations’ Wi-Fi. Since BYOD is an extension of corporate networks, it’s essential to secure BYOD to protect enterprise networks. However, this also amplifies the challenge of managing a diverse array of devices within organizations.
Research by Bitglass shows over 74% of organizations lack a plan to curtail BYOD security risks. Typically, devices on BYOD networks will have fewer security features than company-owned devices. Since such devices are also used for personal purposes, they are frequently neglected, making them more vulnerable to attack. In some cases, they lack the necessary security software or features to notify the user when an attack occurs.
Furthermore, employees are one of the greatest security risks to organizations. Carelessness and negligence when using these devices can have extremely harmful consequences for the enterprise. The lack of security features on such devices and other concerns mean that employee awareness can sometimes be the only barrier between a malicious actor and a successful hardware-based attack.
SlashNext’s Mobile BYOD Security Report found 71% of employees store sensitive work passwords on their personal phones. Consequently, 98% of employers say employees are still susceptible to phishing and other attacks even with regular training— a reality that’s staggering, to say the least.
Enterprise device management holds the key
With a large fleet of devices to manage, manually taking care of individual endpoints is out of the question. Enterprise-wide device management holds the key to effective oversight of enterprise device fleets and stopping malicious actors dead in their tracks. This is where companies like Radix shine bright.
Since 2014, Radix has spearheaded advancements in device management, revolutionizing how organizations handle their multitude of devices, workflows, and stakeholders. The company recently began to offer platforms for telcos, operators, and service providers to offer device management infrastructure services to enterprise customers that facilitate the seamless management of device fleets across diverse scenarios and global locations.
As Avni notes in a previous article, “Our new concept of Device-Management-as-a-Service (DMaaS) takes the framework of device management a step forward by allowing the device management platform to be used by a managed service provider (MSP) or similar third party. DMaaS is creating new business opportunities for telcos and MSPs while offering important operational benefits to their enterprise customers for better managing their fleet of mobile devices.”
Explaining how Radix is differentiated from other enterprise device management offerings in the market today, he says until now, businesses have struggled with manual and time-consuming processes to manage devices, leading to inefficiencies and errors as well as security vulnerabilities. “The new generation of mobile device management (MDM) solutions clearly alleviates many of these problems and offer an advanced framework for managing mobile devices that include cloud-based architectures, real-time monitoring, strong security policies, remote control capabilities and data encryption. However, most MDM solutions are complex to deploy and operate. Many require dedicated, highly skilled IT personnel, which is beyond the capacity of many end-user organizations,” he adds.
Radix device management platform enables users to increase administrative effectiveness, eliminate operational complexity, reduce customer churn, and improve customer experience and satisfaction. In addition, the Radix device management platform provides a bird’s-eye view of an entire device fleet, ensuring administrators can improve device performance and make insight-driven decisions. With the Radix device management platform, organizations can also better manage devices from both within and without an organization’s network— simplifying cumbersome operations and maintenance work on all devices.
“As we continue to transition beyond a post-COVID world, managing hybrid work environments that combine onsite work with remote support will be essential going forward,” says Avni.