If you have a chance for a do-over in device management, here’s what you should do differently

Alessia Forster

Mar 10, 2022

12 min read

Devices have become integral components of our enterprises. Our workspaces are now a combination of various device types. With changing times and work models, our devices have gained the least expected attribute – mobility. With these changes, device management solutions have become so vital that we have begun seeing them as indispensable elements for securing devices rather than some random entity.

Device management is no longer an alien term in enterprises. We rely on them for app and content management, device security, kiosk lockdown, remote control, geofencing, expense management, containerization and a lot more. With these features, managing devices of employees working from remote locations from a single console is no more a distant dream. It has made work more flexible while ensuring that the devices and data remain well protected.

Utilizing the chance for a do-over in device management

The need for device management solutions in present-day enterprises needs no special emphasis. We are all familiar with device management solutions and their basic features like passwords, encryption and many others, but is that all you need to manage your enterprise devices smartly? Well, if I had a chance for a do-over in device management, I would focus on some of the less explored features of device management capable of bringing about significant changes in enterprises.

Prioritize device grouping to segregate and manage devices rather than managing them as a whole

Managing devices from a single console have its benefits. However, it can become a bit cumbersome when you have many devices to manage. So, it would be lifesaving to group all your devices based on the type of tools the employees need or the conditions you were to impose on these devices. But even then, constantly monitoring device status and modifying required policies can be a challenge, resulting in many errors. In this case, dynamic groups with members varying depending on the changing conditions play a significant role. In such cases, these policies will only be valid for devices that satisfy the group conditions at that particular time, making the whole process much more manageable. This is where device group management becomes significant.

Device group management

Enterprises rely on endpoint management solutions to manage their entire fleet of devices. But as the enormity of the fleet to be managed increases, so does the complexity of device management. With Hexnode’s device grouping, this complexity is reduced by making it easier to enforce policies or required actions to device groups directly rather than to devices individually. Thus, making the process a lot smoother.

Hexnode offers two types of device grouping, custom device groups and dynamic device groups. Custom groups are static groups that allow you to add devices based on the operating system or criteria like department, branch, hardware characteristics, or other requirements. Dynamic grouping is much easier because it lets you create effective groups where the members keep on changing. Only those devices that satisfy the group criteria at a particular point will be seen in the device group at that time. This eliminates the need to manually modify devices when they fail to meet specific criteria. This is one of the features that can help enterprises function better.

Device management made easy with automation

Ensure security of all network connections without leaving behind any connection type

Present-day enterprises are greatly reliant on technology. It won’t be wrong to say that they can’t survive without the Internet. The Internet has dramatically reduced human effort. With cloud-based data storage and record-keeping, the human effort has significantly reduced while increasing productivity at the same time. Even though this is a great advantage, it also has its shortcomings. Securing all network connections is another major challenge, with the Internet becoming the indispensable element. With different connections available, we are in a state where we can’t leave any of these connection types behind. Some of these include:

Configuring APN remotely

Access point names or APN can be described as a gateway between the device and the internet. Without these links, you won’t be able to access the internet through cellular data. It’s a known fact that the carrier service providers usually set up these APN configurations. But some enterprises prefer a segregated private network for enterprises to connect to due to reasons like enhanced security. Here, instead of a public network, they connect directly to their internal network.

And by this, while technically data flows over the internet, the data is secure. It is as if your devices are connected securely to their corporate network, even when they are connected from another corner of the world. Further, low-level malware such as rootkits bypassing VPN enforcement cannot bypass an APN, thus making its detection with monitoring services easier.

Per-app VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) ensures security by creating a secure tunnel between the devices and the internet. With a VPN in place, enterprises can provide safe access to resources and networks from anywhere in the world. The entire data is routed from the device through the private network. But this is not always what the enterprises need. They at times prefer a VPN to be established for its corporate apps alone. Apple makes this possible for its iOS and iPadOS devices. It is now possible for administrators to exercise granular control over data flowing through the VPN. With this configuration, you don’t have to worry about security anymore. The personal and corporate data remains segregated, securing network communication for internal-use apps without compromising the privacy of personal data.

On-Demand, Per App or Always On? Choosing the right VPN for Apple devices

Managing BYOD and corporate devices under a single roof

While managing corporate devices we need to be extra cautious as vulnerability in a single endpoint is all it takes to expose the organization. So, robust device management strategies are a must for managing these devices. But often too much of segregations can make the whole processes a lot complicated. With a unified console for managing both corporate and BYOD devices the whole process becomes even easier.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Management

With remote work and practices supporting work from anywhere becoming the new normal, many new terms have emerged in the enterprises. BYOD is one such term that has stayed with enterprises ever since. Its advantages favoring both enterprises and the employees are the main reason for its wide adoption. BYOD has significantly reduced the company’s hardware expenditure while making devices more convenient for employees.

Hexnode offers a variety of features that simplify BYOD management. With the segregation of personal and work data, enterprises can effectively manage work data without interfering with the employee’s data. With features ranging from work profile passcode to container deactivation on non-compliance, most security and compliance aspects are covered. Further, its app management features ensure that all the installed apps are from trusted sources, whether they are play store apps or enterprise apps.

BYOD management in the workplace: Do you need it?

Android Enterprise container deactivation on non-compliance

Enterprise devices often need to adhere to the organization’s set of rules. These criteria can be set as conditions of compliance. Non-conformity to these can be considered as red flags needing immediate attention. A possible solution is notifying the user of non-compliance and instructing them to adhere to the required conditions. But instances of these alerts going unnoticed can’t be neglected.

Hexnode’s Android Enterprise – Compliance offers an effective way to protect your corporate apps and data if the device turns non-compliant. Once the settings are enabled via policy, on non-compliance, the work container deactivates, and any app present in the work container will be hidden. Further, the work container is re-activated automatically when the device becomes compliant. This can help protect your corporate apps and data.

What is Android Enterprise? Everything you need to know

Compliance management

Most device management solutions can help you create a set of rules or settings, failing which the device can be marked as non-compliant. These settings can be configured depending on the requirements of the organization. With such criteria in place, you can ensure that your devices are secure, and the users are notified when the device turns non-compliant, thus protecting organizational data.

With Hexnode, you can directly identify and manage compliant devices from its console. It is also easy to assign app catalogs to devices and ensure that only secure apps are installed. You can also set passwords with specific criteria, enforce remote encryption, ensure that all applications are updated, preconfigure networks to ensure maximum protection and a lot more.

Make the most out of remote threat management features

Though there isn’t any doubt regarding the importance of the internet in our everyday lives, it has unknowingly brought a notorious entity to the limelight – security threats.

Threat management is one aspect that needs due consideration in device management. You are subjecting your enterprise to a huge security risk by neglecting this risk.

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So, by remotely configuring important threat management aspects, you can be sure that your device has all the required settings in place to protect your device and hence your enterprise data.

Threat management with Microsoft Defender

Managing threats is indeed one of the major worries of enterprises. You need to safeguard your devices from malware for enterprises to function effectively. Microsoft Defender is famous as Windows’ anti-malware tool. It plays a significant role in protecting Windows devices from malware and threats.

Hexnode UEM helps administrators configure various settings of Microsoft Defender remotely from the UEM console. It allows you to configure settings for the Microsoft defender application guard and windows defender security center. Microsoft defender application guard ensures the protection of the device from security attacks by enforcing browser isolation. So, it means all sites not trusted by the organization will be opened in isolated browsing sessions, making these sessions anonymous. With Windows defender security center (WDSC) and its suite of security features, you can ensure real-time protection of all your Windows devices. With these configurations in place, users can access their devices without fear of viruses, malware or other threats.

Securing your endpoints with Microsoft 365 Defender

Focus more on app logs and use them to simplify the process of device troubleshooting

We have all been in situations when our devices didn’t quite respond in the ways it was expected to. Unfortunately, troubleshooting device issues as and when they appear is not always easy. At times figuring out the root cause of an issue can seem almost impossible. But having logs of app behavior can simplify the whole process. With logs, you can easily find the root cause of issues and detect abnormal device behaviors, simplifying your device troubleshooting process.

Hexnode app logs for Android

Device troubleshooting plays a significant role in enterprises. These methods help ensure that enterprise devices are up and running continuously, making the chances of device downtime almost negligible. In addition, the app log contributes significantly to device troubleshooting. These Application logs from endpoints can help determine the causes of device failure and identify abnormal device behavior.

This is beneficial because these logs allow you to obtain app logs for Hexnode UEM or Hexnode for Work apps. With Hexnode, it’s easier for the administrators to request the app logs from the portal or get them manually sent by users, after which admins can access them directly from the Hexnode console.

Deploy configurations to all required devices in bulk to secure your apps, saving much of the valuable time

What would you do if you had certain work applications that required a specific set of configurations? If it were for a device or two, manually configuring them would have been an option. But for 100s or 1000s of devices, that would indeed be the least of options you would be interested in. In such situations, features that can help you push these features to all your devices in bulk can come in handy. That’s where features like custom configuration profiles play a significant role.

Custom configuration profiles

Custom configuration profiles consist of codes in the form of property lists created to manage and configure various device functionalities. With these profiles, you can push additional features of your choice to devices. It also aids in the seamless distribution of configuration information across devices, making it easier to configure many devices at once. In addition, these profiles can be customized using tools like Apple Configurator, profile editor apps or others. And with Hexnode, the process is even easier; you can directly associate these profiles to the required device fleet over the air.

How to deploy custom configuration profiles on Apple devices

Alessia Forster

Product Evangelist @ Hexnode. Take life as it comes. One day at a time.

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