What Is Mobile Application Management and Why Is It Important?

Most smartphone owners use the apps on their devices, with little or no knowledge about how to manage those apps. But managing mobile applications is essential to prevent cyber threats and data loss. Mobile Application Management (MAM) comes in handy to secure mobile apps.

So, what is a mobile application management and why should you take it seriously?

What Is Mobile Application Management (MAM)?

Mobile Application Management (MAM) is the process of controlling mobile apps via authorized channels by IT administrators. It’s an application management solution that enhances productivity and secures applications.

Primarily, mobile application management has to do with the life-cycle of your mobile application through a systematic process of configuring, distributing, installing, uninstalling, updating, deleting, and blocking apps.

Why Is Mobile Application Management Important?

Mobile application management ensures secure access to enterprise apps while making sure that an employee’s personal apps are not compromised by the company’s IT administrators; and vice-versa. It provides detailed control which enables companies to effectively monitor and secure their enterprise data by separating them from personal data, particularly in this Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) work era.

Here are some techniques used in mobile application management.

1. Application Wrapping

Application wrapping applies management layers to a mobile app without requiring any changes to the underlying application. This process allows an administrator to put specific security-driven policies in place that they can apply to an application or set of applications without changing its interface or functionality.

Wrapping can be applied during an application’s internal development stage or after. It’s performed through the use of a Software Development Kit (SDK) that enables your IT admin to deploy an API that allows them to set up management policies seamlessly.

2. Containerization

Containerization is a strategy that separates official data from non-official data. It establishes digital containers for each business and personal app alongside their data, and allows them to both coexist on a single device while staying confined in their own lanes.

Containerization is essential because, as a user, you may have your personal apps and work apps on the same device. Cyberattackers may penetrate your work-related data through your personal applications. Through containerization, you can carry out your individual interactions without exposing your corporate or official data to cyber threats and attacks.

3. Application Blacklisting

Application blacklisting is a mobile application management technique primarily used to prevent certain apps from gaining access to your system by blocking them.

When you add any apps to your blacklist, the system prevents you from initiating interactions with those unauthorized apps because they are most likely to be infected. It’s the opposite of application whitelisting.

You can choose anything you deem irrelevant to you or that you distrust when creating your blacklist so that your chosen blacklisted apps, as well as all others associated with them, are blocked instantly. Application blacklisting is one of the proactive measures of mobile application management.

4. Internal App Store

You already use an app store, whatever operating system you use. It’s a digital marketplace which offers either free or paid-for apps for consumers to download. However, this public space could be a danger to companies, because their employees are allowed to use third-party apps available for free from stores.

In such a scenario, creating a customized internal app store for your company becomes the next best alternative. Internal app stores are simply web portals or mobile apps that can only be legally accessed by employees and authorized stakeholders. This approach creates app uniformity across the board and further helps strengthen data security.

5. Application Sandboxing

Application sandboxing limits the environment where certain digital codes can and can’t be executed. The term “sandbox” comes from the idea of a child’s sandbox, in which the sand and toys are kept inside a small container or walled area, so the child can play safely in a confined space.

With application sandboxing, every app is given a digital sandbox, which is a controlled and restricted environment to run and execute codes safely. The aim of application sandboxing is to improve security by isolating and protecting apps from malware attacks. Isolating the apps creates a secure environment, so an app can run without damaging the overall system, should anything go wrong.

6. Remote App Configuration and Updates

Configuring and updating apps remotely is a management technique that allows your IT administrators or managers to modify certain features and make updates to an app remotely, without having to undergo a full app update or uploading an entirely new version to the app store.

To configure and update apps remotely, you need to define specific parameters in the remote app configuration interface and then set default values for these parameters in the mobile app. These parameters define the configuration values in your mobile app and download updates the next time a user accesses it.

7. Dedicated Devices

Dedicated devices are fully managed devices used for a singular purpose. This approach to mobile application management is designed for company-owned devices that fulfill a single use case such as inventory management, digital signage, and ticket printing.

Dedicated devices allow IT admins to further funnel down the use of a device to a single app or group of apps. These devices are set up to prevent users from carrying out unauthorized actions and also prevent apps from running in an unauthorized environment. This gives you total control of your mobile apps.

Enhancing the User Experience With Mobile Application Management

A mobile device is as good as the apps on it. Users enjoy maximum benefits when they can access and use a variety of apps on their mobile devices. Managing them effectively is key to enhancing the user experience and securing your company data.

Mobile application management is a proactive security measure that helps you keep all your apps in check. You can detect issues and nip them in the bud before they escalate.

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