How to remotely wipe your phone with Hexnode MDM

Jayden Traoré

Mar 10, 2020

6 min read

It’s 2020 and people have become less sensitive to news citing a data breach. Still every year we hear about many big and small companies suffering losses due to data leaks. Under current circumstances, data breaches are no longer just a technical liability but a financial one too. Companies are required to pay huge fines if their data (which can also include client data) have been compromised which leads to financial losses.

MDM offers many solutions including location tracking for data loss prevention[1], but desperate times call for desperate measures and that is Remote wipe. This seemingly tiny little feature has the power to rescue an enterprise from a downfall but at the same time may cause irreplaceable loss of data.

This is the big red button in the MDM that you press in case of emergencies (not all emergencies).

1. Importance of remote wipe in the corporate world

A data compromise is not something a company can live with. Not just fines, it can ruin the company’s reputation and eventually push them out of business.
Before getting into different types of data wipe, let’s look at different situations that demand a data wipe.

  • Network attack

    The corporate world is not unfamiliar with network attacks. A network attack occurs when an infiltrator uses a weakness in the system, infrastructure or an application to infiltrate an organization.

  • Social attack

    A social attack occurs when an employee is stimulated to break security practices and subsequently grant access to corporate resources revealing sensitive data to the attacker.

  • Employee mishaps

    When an employee quits an organization and the data in his phone needs to be wiped. The same case applies when a device gets lost or stolen due to mishandling by the employees.

Among these scenarios, remote wipe makes sense for Social attack and Employee issues. Whereas in the case of network attacks bigger security measures need to be taken.

2. Difference between Enterprise wipe and device wipe.

Remote data wipe can be done in two ways. There is a partial wipe and a full data wipe.

  • Enterprise Wipe

    This is a partial data wipe which ensures that only corporate/enterprise data like managed documents and apps are wiped from device, personal data remains untouched. Enterprise data wipe is usually used in devices following BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy where the users use their personal devices for work with a separate container for work apps and files.

  • Device Wipe

    A full data wipe which is practically a factory reset which makes a device good as new with everything wiped. Device wipes are used for COPE (Company Owned Personal Enabled) devices which are company-owned and contain a lot of sensitive information.

3. Is there a need for an MDM solution?

There are several methods to institute a device wipe. Depending on the OS there are a lot of options. For instance, Microsoft users can request one with the help of ActiveSync, Apple and Android users can make use of Find my phone feature, Samsung offers an app which can perform reset on Samsung devices and there are a lot of third-party apps to choose from.

But they all offer a full reset, what if you just want to remove company data and not reset the phone? That’s when an MDM solution comes in handy. They not only offer a full data reset but options to remove Enterprise data, remove an app and its data and much more.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a program that allows employees to work through their personal devices. It is cost-effective as the company doesn’t need to purchase or maintain the devices. Although BYOD instilled fear and uncertainty, companies started adopting this program. MDM is one of the reasons that helped them consider BYOD. Simply because corporate data and personal data could be handled separately.

What if the employee decides to quit, or the device gets lost or stolen?

These were the common concerns with BYOD. Implementation of Remote Enterprise wipe using an MDM service acts as a solution to these concerns. IT admins can wipe data from their desks, the target device just needs to be connected to a network. Along with that, enrolling a device in an MDM opens a plethora of device security and mobility management features.

4. How to choose the right MDM for remote wipe?

There are plenty of MDM solutions in the market and almost all of them support Remote wipe, but not all are made identical and you obviously want the best one, right? Well, don’t worry Hexnode’s got you covered.

Hexnode MDM is an emerging vendor in the MDM and UEM market and offers solutions like remote wipe for your data security woes. For remote wipe Hexnode offers support for:

  • Multiple OS support

    Be it Windows, iOS, Android or macOS, Hexnode offers remote wipe on different platforms.

  • Available as action in the portal

    Remote wipe is an immediate action. So Hexnode offers it as an action that can be executed easily without the need for creating and applying a policy.

Along with that Hexnode offers additional features like

  • Lost mode

    Hexnode offers a lost mode which is also available as an action in the portal. Lost mode enables the admin to lockdown device with all actions on the device suspended just displaying the text admin wants.

  • Remote Ring

    Hexnode also features a remote ring with a custom message to assist with retrieving lost/stolen devices. Works even if the device is silent.

  • Enterprise Wipe

    Hexnode offers an Enterprise Wipe feature that removes everything pushed via MDM and removes mobile device management control on the device, making things easier for the IT admin when an employee leaves the organization. Disenroll feature can also become useful in scenarios that demand an enterprise wipe.

  • Location Tracking

    Hexnode features location tracking which enables the IT admin to track the device from the portal, with real-time updates. This helps in the recovery of lost or stolen devices.

  • Remote Lock

    Hexnode provides admins the capability of remotely locking a device from the Hexnode MDM portal. This is a security feature intended for cases where devices are lost or stolen, by blocking unauthorized access to the device.

In an increasingly competitive world, data security is a prime concern for people and businesses. MDM solutions offer the best security for your device and data with features like Remote lock, ring and wipe, lost mode, mobile threat management and much more. So, the need for an MDM solution is always on the rise. Then why not choose the best one! Checkout Hexnode for more details.

Jayden Traoré

Product Evangelist @ Hexnode. Sometimes, I have the feeling I live in a story: a magnificent story written by a mediocre writer living off coffee and technology.

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