For IT managers and administrators, establishing the security of employee mobile devices that access sensitive files and corporate networks is of paramount importance. However, ensuring those devices can be easily and rapidly deployed is no less imperative. Clunky and time-consuming device provisioning processes can quickly overwhelm an IT team.
Mobile device configuration can be a tricky and involved process, requiring dozens of steps to confirm that employees have set up their smartphones, tablets and wearables correctly. Doing so on a one-to-one basis can be hugely time-consuming for the staff of any IT department and can lead to gaps in the system if each device and employee is not dealt with in the same manner.
Thankfully, with the advent of tools for remote configuration and automated provisioning, IT departments can now quickly and easily deploy new devices with minimum fuss, giving employees a uniform experience and ensuring that not only are the devices secure but also designed to boost productivity from the start.
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So where does Knox Configure fit into the mobile security stack?
Knox Configure is a cloud-based service that allows businesses to remotely configure any number of Samsung devices and tailor them to specific user needs, which can range drastically depending on which lines of business are utilizing mobile devices, how frequently and within which industry — particularly in those that have heavy regulation and compliance standards like healthcare and financial services.
Where Knox Configure separates itself from the market — and makes life easy for mobile administrators — is its core points of streamlining and customizing the device setup process.
Knox Configure’s out-of-the-box setup capabilities include automated provisioning, default setting changes and the ability to remove preloaded apps. Bloatware — all those preloaded apps — is a known security risk for mobile devices. Knox Configure is not intended to replace your Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, but instead to automate all of the steps that would typically have been handled manually prior to the enrollment of the device.
Everything from settings and app permissions to connectivity can be adjusted during initial device setup. Knox Configure offers automated provisioning using the devices’ IMEI or serial number to identify each smartphone. This gives administrators granular levels of control over device configuration and will ensure that each employee has the right level of access to the files and systems they need. The process is similar to creating a gold standard image for a PC prior to issuing it to an employee.
For an IT administrator tasked with configuring and provisioning each mobile device that connects to corporate data, this is a huge time-saving advantage. No longer does one member — or multiple members — of the tech team need to be saddled with manually setting up preferences and security protocols for each smartphone or tablet that enters the system.
By taking full control of the configuration processes, enterprises can customize what an employee sees when they power on their new smartphone for the first time. Enterprises can skip the setup screens from Google, Samsung and the carrier, replacing them with a customized sign-on process, and bypassing the traditional 12 to 16 setup screens usually encountered by users.
The platform also allows businesses to truly customize device setup and branding tactics, like altering the boot and shut down screens, seamlessly changing wallpapers and app placements, and preventing apps from being uninstalled by users.
While out-of-the-box setup capabilities are a time saver, having the opportunity to brand devices with individual company logos and a customized sign-on process changes the way budgeting for mobile deployments is handled. Rather than introducing a third-party mobile application with these same characteristics, IT administrators can define them during the early configuration process.
Another area the Knox platform shows its prowess is in what Knox Configure can do for access management. The system can transform off-the-shelf devices into single-purpose devices with specialized user experiences, such as establishing a professional kiosk mode that can lock down into a single mobile application and restrict access to all other settings.
Administrators also need to drill down into advanced device settings, a major pain point in the era of BYOD in mobility. Now the ability to add Wi-Fi profiles with security options, whitelist and blocklist mobile apps, and utilize biometric authentication is all part of a single dashboard.
Businesses also have the option to control whether employees can access Android’s factory reset option. When it’s turned off, it ensures that end users cannot cancel enrollment. You can also allow a factory reset to be carried out, but make it mandatory to be re-enrolled in Knox Configure afterward.
Because you have predefined profiles and policies — including everything from accessing corporate Wi-Fi networks to turning NFC and Bluetooth on or off — the minute your customized startup is finished, the devices are instantly ready to be used. This device configuration process negates many of the common pain points for both employees and administrators.
For employees, it removes the need to access hidden menus and systems in order to configure the device. And administrators can rest assured that, with the profiles predefined, they are leaving nothing to chance, and ensuring the security of the information stored on the devices as well as their corporate networks.
Knox Configure has become an essential part of the mobile security stack of a business. Turning BYO and CYO devices into purpose-built appliances for business use inherently layers security protocols without having to bolt-on additional solutions, providing quick ROI for companies with growing mobile fleets.
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