Unified Device Management...and why it matters
heyjudeIBM 270003RG9D Visits (2565)
As BigFix Mobile Product Manager, my focus is to make sure we have the most competitive mobile solutions portfolio possible, and to be the product’s biggest advocate. But there is a much broader picture that my little world fits into. That’s the concept of what we call unified device management, and I was reminded of that recently by this article.
The net of the article is that malware meanies are sending attacks through legitimate services like Dropbox and Wordpress, which is pretty scary, when you think about it. So where does BigFix come in? How can we help customers avoid these kinds of attacks when traditional malware products can’t?
I am glad you asked. The true value of BigFix is not that we manage mobile devices, or Windows devices, or Unix and Linux platfoms. The true value is that we manage mobile devices AND all the other OSes I mentioned. This is what I mean by unified device management. We can manage all of those platforms within a single console, single infrastructure, with near real-time visibility and response on nearly 100 different OSes. No other product can manage that many different platforms while achieving the real time visibility BigFix does. Period. So how does that help with the attack I mentioned above? Essentially, we can help customers avoid it, before it even shows up in the environment, which is arguably, the best defense.
Since most companies don’t want apps like Dropbox or Wordpress on corporate devices, we can ensure that they are not there, and when they are, report on them and get rid of them…fast! So let’s look at a real world scenario. Someone in IT in an organization reads the same article I did and gets a little nervous. They want to see what the exposure is. They run a report…a single report from a single system, that tells them what devices have Dropbox installed. This report, if the customer had different systems for mobile and different ones for servers and desktops, would take a much longer time-probably days- to create and compile. With BigFix, I can get these results on all devices, in minutes!
They find they have several mobile devices and many desktops and laptops that have Dropbox installed. They quickly create a policy in BigFix that removes the application from desktops and laptops, and will continue to remove it if it ever shows up again, automatically. On mobile devices, since we can’t forcibly remove apps, (OS limitations…go yell at Google and Apple), we can create a policy that looks for Dropbox, and if it’s installed, not let the end user get on corporate systems until it’s removed. Or, if we want to be less draconian-we can warn the user that Dropbox is “blacklisted,” and then if they do not uninstall it after a certain amount of time, stop access. Once they remove Dropbox, we can turn them back on.
That, in a nutshell, is why having a single, unified device management strategy matters. It easier, it’s faster, and it reduces risk. Thanks for reading.