Microsoft Intune, the mobile device management (MDM) solution, has been a key enabler of the BYOD revolution for many organisations. Increasing mobility and making it easy for employees to access corporate applications, resources and data from their own device wherever they’re working.While enterprises may provide their staff with corporate-owned devices, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend has also levelled the playing field somewhat for smaller organisations, allowing them to reap the benefits of a mobile workforce.
However, BYOD increases the risk of threat of cyber attack so to protect organisations from malware and other security threats, most mobile device management solutions require the BYO device to be enrolled and managed. This is not always popular with employees. In fact some organisations with rigid BYOD mobile device management enrolment policies, find that employees either avoid using their personal device for work or use their own productivity tools, not the organisations.
Mobile threat defence now available for unenrolled BYODs
In a blog post released during its Ignite conference, Microsoft announced that it has integrated third-party mobile threat defence (MTD) solutions with Intune. This means that organisations can now block access to corporate apps and systems on unenrolled BYODs that are identified as a risk. Microsoft said:
“Microsoft Intune can integrate data from mobile threat defence (MTD) partners as an information source for device compliance policies and to evaluate Conditional Access rules based on device risk. By blocking compromised mobile devices from ability to access corporate resources like Exchange and SharePoint, this information helps organizations protect the modern workplace against device-based attacks."
How does this impact our clients?
For clients already using Intune, this update means that employees can use their BYOD without enrolling and the business can avoid purchasing additional mobile threat defence solutions. Similarly any organisation looking for a MDM solution for the first time will find that Microsoft Intune is, currently, the only MDM that offers this capability as part of its solution, extending the zero-trust security perimeter to all protected users.
Initially, Microsoft plan to enter the mobile threat defence marketplace through integration deals with third-party MTD partners; Lookout for Work, Better Mobile and Zimperium. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft develops its own MTD solution in the future.
Trends to watch in the modern workplace
It’s not just remote and mobile workers that might benefit from a corporate BYOD policy and Microsoft Intune. For many employees, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, a mobile is their preferred device. Even people who are desk-based often find it beneficial to work on both their mobile and desktop, optimising their performance by switching between the best mobile and desktop apps for the task in hand. Microsoft Intune can help increase productivity for these workers as well as those offsite.
If you would like to discuss increasing mobility and productivity, empowering employees with BYOD policies and protecting your corporate systems with MTD solutions, please get in touch.