Securing operations by enlisting UEM for mission critical devices

Andrei Geralt

Jun 21, 2021

8 min read

There are many sources out there highlighting the significance of endpoint management in enterprises. Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions have undoubtedly become part of the ‘must have’ tools for any enterprise. With its extended support, from smartphones to laptops, UEM solutions can act as a central platform to manage all devices within the enterprise network.

What about other industries? The ones where a single device malfunction could lead to the entire plan crashing down? Mission-critical device is a self-explanatory term. Without these devices, it would be nigh impossible to reach the objective. These rugged devices or handheld displays are different from the devices used by your average office worker. Mission-critical devices need to be configured and secured to not leave any room for errors.

The role of a UEM solution is to manage endpoints. It doesn’t matter what industry you belong to. With the right UEM solution, you can make sure your devices work the way you want them to work. So, employing a UEM for mission critical devices is a pretty smart move.

Healthcare industry

Once upon a time, all you needed were doctors and nurses to keep a healthcare institution running. Times have changed, and like any industry, devices have integrated themselves into all the processes. From fetching patient data to performing a complete diagnosis, no one can fathom completing these tasks without relying on technology. With technology comes progress and some liabilities in security.

UEM in the healthcare industry
UEM in the healthcare industry 

Healthcare institutions play a very significant role in our society, and most of their work is critical. A single error or mistake can lead to someone losing their life and letting that mistake be due to a device malfunction or misconfiguration? Totally unacceptable. The management and security of these devices are also a priority. The value of medical records of a person far outvalues that of a security number.

With HIPAA compliance being strictly enforced nowadays, there is a need to ensure that your devices are always functioning within the regulations. This would not only save the organization from paying hefty fines but also protect its reputation. This is where a UEM solution could come in handy.

UEM solutions like Hexnode provide a complete endpoint solution, regardless of the platform your devices operate on. Since we are slowly transitioning to an IoT era, almost every device is connected via a shared network. So, it is vital to secure each and every device within the network. Hacking into the network and messing with the critical hardware like insulin pumps and pacemakers could cause serious health issues. Closing off the network by plugging the endpoints could provide better security. By using a UEM for mission critical devices, we can also make sure that the devices stay compliant with the policies enforced within the organization.

Military industry- Securing borders

We’ve all seen the technology used by the military…well, at least in movies. While super suits and invisibility cloaks are far off in the future (or so we think), military technology can still be dubbed as advanced. From the computers used in HQ to the rugged devices used by the frontline soldiers, many devices and their network are to be secured. With the rise of the Internet of Military Things (IoMT), most devices used by the military, like sensors and computing devices, will be closely connected.

Military devices need to perform only their specific function. Since tasks assigned to an army unit are critical and usually on a time constraint, the device mustn’t create any unnecessary confusion in the middle of the mission. Since they are also heavily reliant on communication, the network and the endpoints must be kept secure. If the communication channel were to be compromised, it could possibly jeopardize the mission and endanger the unit’s lives. All the devices within the network will also have to be compliant with the security policies.

Every industry prefers certain specific device brands for their use. Kyocera is a commonly used military device known for being super robust and an ideal device for soldiers on the frontlines. These devices offer more restrictive features to optimize the device for use further. These features can be implemented by using UEM solutions that support these devices like Hexnode. Applying these restrictions optimize the device for its use case, so deploying a UEM for mission critical devices could be helpful.

Rugged military devices are usually reliant on OEM Config applications. UEM solutions like Hexnode offer the management of such rugged devices via OEM Config apps. These apps can allow a rugged device to be configured to a bunch of setting which the OEM vendor fixed. The list of settings is usually extensive, granting almost complete control over the device to the organization. By pushing the policies onto the entire list of devices within the network, we can make sure that the devices are compliant. If any device were to show out-of-the-ordinary behavior, we could get a complete detailed report on the device. Hexnode also offers a kiosk lockdown feature, which can be used to lock the device to a particular function. This feature could eliminate any unnecessary sources of confusion to the user.

Manufacturing Industry – The anvil of creation

The devices used within a manufacturing plant are staggering. Like, there would be at least one device in every manufacturing process. The thing about the manufacturing industry, though, almost every process is dependent on another. If one process cannot be completed, the next cannot be started. This leads to a significant loss in productivity till the issue with the device is rectified.

The information regarding the processes going on within a manufacturing plant is also a little secretive. Every product probably has a ‘secret formula,’ and it’s probably used in the manufacturing process. A breach in the network could lead to serious losses to the organization. Similar to how military devices work, devices used by the workers need only to perform a single function to avoid distractions. A large number of rugged devices like handheld printers and scanners are also used. With so many devices used within a single workplace, using a UEM for mission critical devices could simplify management without the need for additional tools.

Worker using scanner in an industry
Worker using scanner in an industry 

Hexnode offers a complete device management solution to devices running on standard and non-standard platforms. This brings all the devices under a single centralized platform, significantly reducing the workload and increasing the efficiency of IT administrators. Since Hexnode supports IoT device management, most of the rugged devices running on any version of Android are supported. This would help in the bulk configuration of rugged devices from the same OEM vendor. Hexnode currently supports most of the popular OEM vendors.

Looking upon the real-time analytical data of devices can inform you about the current device status, location and compliance. This can allow the close monitoring and troubleshooting of the device without physically accessing the device. By securing all the endpoints and pushing security policies, data leaks can be prevented. With Hexnode’s kiosk lockdown feature, the device can be locked to a particular app or a set of apps so that the workers will not get distracted. These features can improve efficiency while maintaining tight security in the manufacturing workplace.

The final note

It would be kind of old-fashioned to consider a UEM solution only as an office tool. The role of a UEM solution is to simplify device management. The revenue generated by the UEM market is expected to reach 6.9 billion US Dollars by 2024. Devices are now associated with almost every industry out there, along with it, the significance of a UEM solution.

We cannot say that a UEM solution is the one answer to solve all your problems, but it can be super effective, especially if you couple it with other security solutions. Other than the three industries mentioned above, UEM solutions are deployed in various other industries like education, finance and a lot more. As the technologies associated with every industry increase, so does the need to manage its devices.

It won’t be surprising if industries become more dependent on devices. With more devices brought to handle more tasks, some of them will end up as essential cogs in the functioning of an institution. So, it becomes a necessity to use a UEM for mission critical devices. You know what they say, you need to protect your vital spot and, in this case, with a UEM solution.

Andrei Geralt

Frolicking on the keys while appreciating the serenity behind the screen.

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