Still think smartphones are a fad? Are you convinced that tablets have just about run their course? Are you of the opinion that people shouldn’t be doing work wherever they go, anyway? Do you see yourself as a lone crusader for LYOD (leave your own device)?

“Denial ‘aint just a river in Egypt” – said many

Denial is also not going to protect your business from the reality that people are now using mobile devices more than ever, and in ways not envisioned as recently as a year ago. Personal device ownership and usage in the enterprise is still growing rapidly, and more businesses than ever before are facing the challenge of how to fully provision, manage and secure mobile devices in their corporate environments.

Desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets are coming together and organizations need a single platform to manage every device, both personal and corporate owned. So what’s slowing businesses down? It’s the exercise of putting in place an IT strategy for management and operation. While it’s understandable that IT would see it as an overwhelming task, it doesn’t have to be. With the right solution it really isn’t difficult at all to combine security with rapid enrollment.

Here are 11 best practices for Mobile Device Management (MDM).

1. Have a Policy That’s Realistic

This means that you acknowledge the following two requirements:

  • You have to support multiple device platforms in a single window
  • You need to allow personal devices along with corporate owned ones

2. Take Stock Using a Multi-Platform Reporting and Inventory Tool – We recommend doing this ASAP!

  • Provides detailed visibility into what is out there and who it belongs to.
  • Works for help desk troubleshooting.
  • Is accessible outside of IT – for instance, HR should have read-only access during exit interviews. (It’s not uncommon to uncover terminated employees with corporate mobile devices that are still functioning. Now you see why this is an urgent one.)
  • Has strong application inventory and search capabilities, because those will become increasingly more important.

3. Enforce Basic Security: Password, Encryption, and Remote Wipe

  • Require a strong password.
  • Set up devices to automatically lock after a specified period of inactivity.
  • Be able to remotely wipe devices after a certain number of failed login attempts, or if devices are reported lost.
  • Enforce local data encryption.

4. Make Bluetooth Hidden or Non-Discoverable

This is tricky in practice. Users will need to put it into discover mode to pair with their car or new headset, for instance, but your policy must require them to turn it back to non-discoverable when they’re finished with that one-time action to be qualified to have the device for corporate use.

5. Start Planning for a Single Console, MultiPlatform MDM Solution

  • Your MDM platform should also be able to manage PC/Mac form factor and OS devices. This will cut down on infrastructure costs, improve operational efficiency, and create a single user view into devices and data for operations and security.
  • Should consolidate both your existing BlackBerry solution and your multi-platform MDM platform.
  • Consider web- or cloud-based MDM services.
  • Go the agent route with caution – server-side management controls might be better in the long run.

6. Include Your Mobile Device Inventory and Policy Status in Operations Reviews

Report on and discuss your mobile device inventory and policy status in your IT operations reviews. Be sure to include personal devices. It’s a good way to gain exposure to the benefits for your organization and future resource needs. Your inventory and reporting tool should make this simple.

NOTE:  The 6 best practices above should meet most organizations’ needs. For instance, the healthcare industry has some of the most stringent security and privacy regulations as dictated by the HIPAA Act and HITECH. But those regulations only require, in practice, encrypting your data and having the ability to destroy the data on a lost device. The practices above cover that and more.

Best practices 7-9, below, are advanced best practices to consider once the foundation has been laid.

Best practices 10 – 11 are for rare organizations with highly sensitive and classified information.  

7. Enable Cost Management for Network Usage

Multi-national businesses need to be able to monitor and limit international data roaming, since those costs can quickly reach thousands of dollars per trip.

8. Manage Application Restrictions and Your Own App Store™

Certain organizations or industries may have the need to restrict the type of application allowed on a corporate approved device. Businesses can also consider setting up their own enterprise app stores to restrict the set and to ease the delivery of applications to mobile devices.

9. Provide a Backup & Recovery Service

If you have a user segment that has critical and unique data, beyond email, you may want to consider using a backup and recovery solution. This is not critical for iPhone users, since iTunes has taken care of this, or for BlackBerry users, but Android smartphones might require this additional functionality.

10. Limit Data Transfers, and Separate Corporate and Personal Information

Some businesses, with highly sensitive data, find it valuable to restrict downloading attachments or prevent the copying of data to removable media. Implementing these solutions can be very difficult, and the data classification exercise is almost unmanageable. An alternative is to create separate virtual containers for business and personal data and applications.

11. Install Firewall, Anti-Virus and Intrusion Prevention Solutions

This is a priority for businesses where “good enough,” just isn’t. The majority of businesses will find effective applications in the market that apply these PC-like approaches to device security. Home WiFi access does raise some concerns that devices are not always protected by carrier networks, but for the time being, mobile devices enjoy the same company as Macintosh and Linux platforms and have the benefit of much less complexity as the attack-prone Windows PCs.

It’s time to embrace mobile devices in your environment. They’re here to stay. Take the proper steps to secure, manage, and monitor any corporate- or employee-owned mobile device that accesses business critical data.

Schedule a consultation to learn how Flagship and IBM’s MaaS360 solution can enable your IT to manage laptops, desktops and smartphones in one window, one system.

If you liked this blog, you also might like:  Closed-Loop Risk Management

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IBM Security: QRadar Intelligence and Ops

IBM's integrated solutions harness security-relevant information from across your organization, and use analytics and automation to provide context and help you detect threats faster, identify vulnerabilities, prioritize risks, perform forensics analysis and automate compliance activities. 

  • IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Solutions Grow As Your Needs Grow

  • Organizations today need integrated security intelligence solutions that can grow as their business grows, both in terms of size and capabilities. The IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform meets these requirements by providing an integrated security solution that is highly scalable, and can expand it’s capabilities to meet increasingly hostile security challenges. This short video describes how IBM Security QRadar delivers scalability, visibility, vulnerability management, risk management, and performs forensics analysis to help you quickly and efficiently detect and respond to security threats. To learn more, please visit

  • Video: Don’t Drown in a Sea of Cyberthreats: Mitigate Attacks with IBM BigFix & QRadar

  • Security teams can be overwhelmed by a sea of vulnerabilities–without the contextual data to help them focus their efforts on the weaknesses that are most likely to be exploited. Cyberthreats need to be stopped before they cause significant financial and reputation damage to an organization. You need an endpoint security platform that can detect threats, prioritize risks and respond within minutes to shut down an attack or vulnerability that could compromise your endpoints.IBM BigFix seamlessly integrates with IBM QRadar to provide closed loop vulnerability management, accelerating risk prioritization and incident response to mitigate potential attacks giving you an integrated threat protection system to keep your endpoints and data secure.For more information, please visit

  • Report: IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Report 2016

  • In the modern era of mega breaches, there seems to be an ever-upward trend of more attacks, more leaked records and more varied threats. Yet, by the numbers, 2015 was not a complete disaster. While significant interruptions, shifts in perspective and challenges to the security industry continue to evolve, there are some areas of slowed growth and even improvement. This paper takes a look at some of the notable highlights from 2015 and makes some projections at what we might glean for the future.

  • How IBM Helps Secure the Cloud

  • IBM Security helps customers secure public, private and hybrid clouds. With IBM Security customers can manage user access to cloud applications and protect the data that lives in the cloud. Customers can use IBM Security products like QRadar to gain full visibility into security threats facing their organization.For more information, please visit

  • Benefits of Security Intelligence on Cloud

  • Watch this short video and listen to Vijay Dheap, IBM Global Product Manager for Security, describe the benefits of Security Intelligence on Cloud, a new offering from IBM. These include lowering costs, increasing efficiency, shifting from a CapEx to an OpEx model, and improving compliance and reporting. Vijay also touches on the advantages of incident forensics and the rapid analysis of security offenses. For more information, please visit

  • KocSistem Replaces Their SIEM & Deploys QRadar For Log Management & Regulatory Compliance

  • Many organizations are challenged with meeting regulatory compliance mandates. Watch this video and learn how Ko?Sistem, one of the largest IT services companies in Turkey, is complying with regulations using IBM Security QRadar. You will hear about how they removed a SIEM from another company and installed QRadar, and lowered costs, improved performance, and benefited from greater ease of use.For more information on QRadar, please visit:

  • The Next Era for Security – IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform

  • “IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform provides real-time transparency to see better into your organization than ever before,” says Steve Robinson, Vice President, IBM Security Division. Implementing the security information and event management (SIEM) dashboard, the IBM QRadar platform brings security operations teams full visibility through a single window. It also automates the tedious task of vulnerability management. Security teams can spend less time on manual tasks and more time on network security assessments. This means, according to Robinson, “QRadar will probably pay for itself right out of the gate.”For more information on Security Intelligence go to: more information on IBM Security:

  • IBM Security Intelligence for the Cloud with QRadar

  • IBM QRadar Security Intelligence helps you monitor the cloud for security breaches and compliance violations using advanced security analytics. Using a flexible deployment architecture and connectors to popular cloud services, IBM QRadar Security Intelligence provides deep visibility of threats across both on-premise IT and hybrid cloud deployments.To learn more, please visit

  • How to Investigate Security Incidents Quickly and Easily

  • What’s behind a cyber attack? Gaining insight and clarity into the what, when and how of an enterprise security incident: IBM Security QRadar Incident Forensics helps you win the race against time when a security breach occurs by allowing you to rapidly and easily perform in-depth security incident investigations. It provides visibility and clarity to potentially malicious activity by thoroughly analyzing packets captured from your network, and in most cases can help resolve security incidents in minutes or hours instead of days or weeks. It is integrated with IBM Security QRadar solutions, allowing the same person who has visibility to logs and network flows to conduct searches and learn more about an incident. With QRadar Incident Forensics, security staffs can analyze many types of data, understand their relationships, re-trace the steps of an attacker, remediate damage, and reduce the chances of a recurrence. Learn more about QRadar Incident Forensics:

  • IBM Security QRadar and iSecure Work Together to Improve Customer Security

  • This short video describes the benefits that customers receive from the IBM Security QRadar and iSecure partnership. iSecure wraps their services around IBM’s QRadar products and helps clients address their security gaps. iSecure chose IBM because of the visibility QRadar provides to security exposures, and IBM’s continued investment in new capabilities such as vulnerability management, risk management, and incident forensics. iSecure also endorses IBM ability to provide a solution that combines multiple point products into a single, consolidated security solution.Learn more about IBM Security:

  • Local Government Secures Their Data With QRadar

  • Securing people and funds is a challenge for the public sector. With these limited resources, IT departments must choose a security tool set that will be easy to implement as well as easy to manage. In this video, a local government explains why they chose IBM Security’s QRadar and how it has been a true asset to their work process.To learn more about QRadar, please visit

  • Quickly Investigate & Resolve Security Events with QRadar Incident Forensics

  • When you make intelligent analytics part of your IT security strategy, you gain access to the tools to quickly identify and stop network security breaches, before real damage is done. IBM QRadar Incident Forensics helps security professionals reduce time spent on manual searches to identify a true threat, quickly analyze and stop the attack, and reconstruct the incident to gain the knowledge to prevent a similar attack in the future. To learn more, visit