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Office 365 Mobile Device Management: Secure Data. In today’s increasingly mobile-centric workplace, smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous, offering employees unprecedented flexibility and productivity. However, this proliferation of mobile devices also brings forth a critical challenge for organizations: the security of sensitive data. With the advent of Office 365 Mobile Device Management (MDM), businesses now have a powerful tool to safeguard their valuable information while enabling seamless access on the go. In this article, we discuss the different aspects of Office 365 MDM and explore strategies to help organizations secure their data effectively in the mobile landscape.

Shall we start Office 365 Mobile Device Management: Secure Data?

Office 365 Mobile Device Management: Securing Data on Mobile Devices

With MDM, our business gains central control over policies, applications, and additional functions to block unsafe websites and material from employees. How can we handle the mobile devices we or our workers use to access private company data?

Whether they are company owned devices or the mobile devices of our employees, understanding and executing mobile device management (MDM) is crucial. Mobile devices are used so often in businesses that they threaten data security.

Overview of Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Abbreviated as MDM, Mobile Device Management encompasses software and a methodology designed to supervise and administrate mobile devices that access corporate data. This multifaceted toolset furnishes mobile productivity applications and reinforces corporate information protection on various mobile platforms, including phones, tablets, laptops, and other portable devices. MDM extends its capabilities to encompass several critical services:

  • Storage of crucial mobile device data.
  • Device location tracking.
  • Implement security measures for device misplacement, loss, or theft.
  • Determination of permissible mobile device applications.

The fundamental components of Mobile Device Management solutions encompass:

In today’s modern enterprise landscape, MDM is integral to the broader Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) framework. This component includes mobile app management, access and identity management, and enterprise file sync and sharing.

Importance of Mobile Device Management

MDM safeguards our corporate data, ensuring that our company controls sensitive information. It empowers us to remotely lock and erase all data in the event of mobile device loss or theft, enhancing our ability to maintain the security of both devices and data.

In addition, MDM enhances the accessibility, security, and functionality of mobile devices, whether they are company-issued or personal, that connect to enterprise data. In doing so, MDM reinforces these limitations by preserving the security of enterprise data and networks.

An efficient MDM solution keeps business devices secure and enables flexibility and productivity for employees and administrators. As mobile devices proliferate in enterprises, businesses and their staff become increasingly susceptible to malicious attacks. We use personal or enterprise mobile devices to access critical business data, threatening the business’ security if it’s hacked, lost, or stolen. 

So, managing mobile devices is essential to:

  • Strengthen enterprise data security.
  • Maintain control over sensitive business information in case of mobile device compromise, loss, or theft.
  • Enable comprehensive management of all company devices, including BYODs (Bring Your Own Device) and applications.
  • Save time with automated processes, such as Wi-Fi configuration and application installation on devices.
  • Boost enterprise productivity by restricting non-enterprise apps during work hours, enhancing employee focus and efficiency.
  • Facilitate remote management of mobile devices for added flexibility and control.

Argument Between Personal Devices and Company Devices Used For Work

As remote and hybrid work models gain momentum, there’s a growing trend in using personal devices for work purposes. Many enterprises now adopt policies that permit personal devices, granting employees flexibility in choosing the tools they use to achieve company objectives. These policies enhance worker productivity and satisfaction while reducing company expenses eliminating the need for additional hardware purchases.

However, applying enterprise Mobile Device Management security to a personal device presents challenges. Businesses that endorse BYOD must obtain the employee’s consent before enrolling the device into enterprise MDM.

On the other hand, companies also furnish employees with COPE (Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled) devices or COBO (Corporate-Owned, Business-Only) devices that operate under enterprise MDM management. Company devices subjected to MDM oversight generally exhibit higher security than personal devices. We achieve high security through the pre-installation or whitelisting of software and applications. Additionally, MDM enables swift data wiping in cases of loss, hacking, or theft without necessitating prior employee consent.

Difference Between Microsoft InTune and MDM for Microsoft 365

In essence, Microsoft provides two MDM options: Microsoft Intune and MDM for Office 365:

  • MDM for Microsoft (Office) 365 comes integrated as a built-in feature within every Office 365 plan.
  • On the other hand, Microsoft Intune operates as a standalone, subscription-based mobile device management platform provided by Microsoft. It offers additional security features and seamless integration with Microsoft 365.

Acquire Intune alongside Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) as part of our Microsoft 365 subscription or plan.

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Capabilities of MDM for Microsoft 365

MDM for Microsoft 365, previously known as MDM for Office 365, delivers a streamlined MDM solution without mobile application management (MAM). This functionality regulates access to company Microsoft 365 data for compatible devices and applications while offering the capability to erase enterprise data remotely in case of device loss.

MDM for Microsoft 365-supported platforms include:

Supported Policy Settings in MDM for Microsoft 365

MDM for Microsoft 365 offers a range of supported policy settings designed to enhance security and control over mobile devices and their interaction with company data. These policy settings encompass specific password requirements, encryption protocols, mail-related configurations, and settings related to the detection and management of jailbroken devices.

  1. Specific Password Settings: With specific password settings, organizations can enforce password complexity and strength criteria, ensuring that users employ robust and secure passwords to access their mobile devices and the corporate data they contain. This concept helps fortify the overall security posture by reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  2. Encryption: Encryption settings play a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive data stored on mobile devices. MDM for Microsoft 365 allows administrators to configure encryption requirements, ensuring that data is protected through robust encryption algorithms, making it significantly more challenging for unauthorized parties to access or compromise this information.
  3. Mail-Related Settings: The mail-related policy settings in MDM for Microsoft 365 enable organizations to exert precise control over how email accounts are configured and accessed on mobile devices. This setting includes enforcing security measures such as email access restrictions or authentication methods helping to safeguard email communication and attachments.
  4. Jailbroken Settings: Jailbreaking, which involves bypassing the built-in security mechanisms of a mobile device’s operating system, poses a significant security risk. MDM for Microsoft 365 allows organizations to detect jailbroken devices and apply appropriate security measures, such as restricting access or wiping corporate data from these compromised devices, thereby mitigating potential vulnerabilities.

Incorporating these supported policy settings into MDM for Microsoft 365 provides organizations with a versatile toolkit to tailor their mobile device management strategy, ensuring data security, compliance, and integrity in the ever-evolving landscape of mobile technology.

Microsoft Intune Capabilities

Microsoft Intune delivers essential MDM and MAM capabilities, particularly valuable for enterprises permitting BYOD. Mobile Application Management (MAM) empowers IT administrators to deploy and oversee mobile device applications and software. MDM and MAM policies, chiefly through Microsoft 365 and Azure AD, provide comprehensive control over enterprise data, applications, and network access.

Intune goes further by enabling remote wiping of apps and device data, a critical feature for safeguarding enterprise information in cases of loss, theft, or damage. This functionality offers organizations a vital means of managing and securing their mobile devices, applications, and corporate data.

Intune boasts support for various platforms, including Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11, iOS, iPadOS, Mac OS X, and Android (including Android Enterprise). It also offers a range of advanced policy settings, encompassing VPN, Wi-Fi, and certificate configurations, enabling organizations to effectively tailor their mobile device management strategy.

Steps on Setting Up Mobile Device Management (MDM) in Microsoft 365

To establish Microsoft 365 Mobile Device Management (MDM) and enable secure mobile device configuration, follow these straightforward steps within the Microsoft 365 admin portal.

Step 1: Enabling Microsoft 365 Mobile Device Management (MDM)

  1. Access the Microsoft 365 admin portal through this link: https://portal.office.com/AdminPortal.
  2. Enter the portal as a Global Admin user by selecting the Global Admin option.
  3. In the left pane, navigate to the Home section and expand the Resources tab to reveal Mobile Management.
  4. Initiate the setup wizard for Microsoft 365 Mobile Device Management by clicking the Get Started button.
  5. Next, provide a security name. This name designates the group responsible for enabling Microsoft 365 MDM for specific user accounts. After the setup, you add users to this group, allowing them to configure Office apps on their mobile devices.
  6. Proceed with the MDM setup by clicking on the Start Setup button.
  7. A notification appears indicating the activation of the MDM service. Please wait for this setup process to run its course. Typically 2-5 minutes to complete.

Step 2: Configure our MDM Policy

  1. Navigate to the Microsoft 365 Admin portal and access the Security & Compliance section.
  2. Expand Security and Compliance button and proceed to Security policies, specifically Device Security Policies.
  3. Locate the default policy that mandates devices possess a security password of four or more characters.
  4. Click on the pencil icon in the right pane to initiate the editing of the security password policy.
  5. Select Access Requirements to explore the options for enforcing device prerequisites before connecting to the company network and syncing data.
  6. Configure your preferred policy under What requirements do you want to have on devices, ensuring alignment with your company’s security policies.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Then, click the What else do you want to configure link to access any remaining settings requiring configuration.
  9. Tick the appropriate boxes following your company policy to set your preferred options, and click Save.

Following these steps, we have correctly set up MDM inside our Microsoft 365 environment.

Step 3: Allow Users Access

Once we add a user account to the MDM Security Group (Default) we have set up, we finish the setup process.

  1. Access the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. Navigate to Groups, select the specific group, and add users who utilize mobile devices to the list.
  3. Save the changes to confirm the addition.

Enhancing security and mobile device management necessitates the advanced functionalities offered by Microsoft Intune. Integrating Intune with MDM for Microsoft 365 presents a practical approach to efficiently managing mobile devices while upholding company and enterprise security standards.

Thank you for reading Office 365 Mobile Device Management: Secure Data.

Office 365 Mobile Device Management: Secure Data Conclusion

In conclusion, Office 365 Mobile Device Management has emerged as an indispensable solution for modern organizations seeking to balance the advantages of mobile productivity with robust data security. The need for comprehensive mobile device management grows more pronounced as the workplace evolves. By implementing Office 365 MDM and adhering to best practices, businesses confidently embrace the mobile era, knowing that their data remains protected, no matter where their employees work or what device they use. In this ever-connected world, the ability to safeguard sensitive information on mobile devices is not just a necessity but a strategic imperative for any forward-thinking organization.


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Marion Mendoza

Marion Mendoza

Windows Server and VMware SME. Powershell Guru. Currently working with Fortune 500 companies responsible for participating in 3rd level systems support across the enterprise. Acting as a Windows Server engineer and VMware Specialist.

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