Data privacy as never been more important — cybersecurity threats are constantly on the rise, and regulatory bodies can award large financial penalties for mishandling of data. However, automated cybersecurity defences can only take you so far. Insider threats, negligent employees, and a stolen device can still lead to a breach.
The issue of data access and management has become more important than ever since COVID-19. With remote working so widespread, protecting your data is critical. Enter Microsoft Intune, which can give you additional assurance that your organization’s data is secure. In this post, we look at the benefits of Microsoft Intune in detail, including the features you can expect to see.
What Is Microsoft Intune?
Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based SaaS that brings mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) within the remit of your organization’s IT capabilities. With MS Intune, IT administration teams have far greater control over company and personal devices. This includes managing how devices can be used and enforcing policies that give you direct control over mobile applications.
What’s more, this software can integrate with other Microsoft offerings to expand your capabilities for employee access and monitoring.
How Does Microsoft Intune Work?
Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based software service that provides the aforementioned mobile device and application management features. With Intune’s array of features, businesses are able to:
- Specify policies and rules for specific devices. This can be done both for those that belong to the company and for personal handsets.
- Control what content users and devices have access to. Ensure your organization’s cybersecurity by specifying what data employees can access and distribute.
- Remotely deploy applications and updates to mobile hardware. Business applications, such as Teams and Outlook, can be synchronized with company-owned and personal devices.
- Verify that devices within your organization meet security standards. Automatically flag devices that fall short of requirements so that they can be addressed.
Microsoft Intune is a component of the Endpoint Manager console, and Intune can be integrated with other services for enhanced functionality. For example, Microsoft Intune and Azure AD enable direct control over data access rights within your environment.
Microsoft Intune Features and Benefits
Mobile device and application management is where MS Intune really shines. Intune offers a range of controls that not only help you protect your organization’s data but also understand how your employees are using their time.
Administering mobile devices in Microsoft Intune is simple. Your organization can have full control over its own devices, or you can opt for more limited control in the case of personal devices. Users enroll their handsets in Intune, and from there, you’ll have a number of administrative actions available to you:
- See how many devices are enrolled in Intune and what resources each of them can access.
- Configure device settings and security to ensure that they meet your organization’s compliance and security requirements.
- Remotely push security certificates to enrolled devices, granting access to secured company VPNs and other infrastructure.
- Purge sensitive data when an enrolled device is no longer in use.
- See user and device compliance reports to understand whether any devices in your network fall short of standards.
What’s more, you can assume full control over devices, or you may have reduced control for employee-owned mobiles. For organization-owned devices, your IT administrators can choose to oversee all settings, features, and security. This might include configuring password and PIN policies, setting up VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections, installing cybersecurity software, and more actions like those outlined above.
However, for personal devices, users can opt to limit the amount of control that your organization’s IT team has over each device. This is useful in case employees don’t want to hand over full control of their mobile. With Intune, you can give users the choice of using specific application properties that safeguard your data — for example, securing Microsoft Teams or Outlook with two-factor authentication (2FA).
To keep your organization’s data secure, Microsoft Intune gives you mobile application management functionality. This can be applied not just to company apps but also to custom and store applications. With this degree of control, IT administrators may perform a range of actions through the MS Intune Company Portal:
- Assign mobile applications to user groups or individual devices.
- Configure apps to use specific settings that have been specified by your administrators.
- Update existing apps installed on a device.
- View reports that detail which applications are being used, in addition to the amount of time spent on each application.
- Specifically target and delete organizational data on a device without affecting other data.
Intune also utilizes app protection policies that have a number of benefits. When integrated with Intune, Azure AD can separate organizational data from personal data. You can also restrict and fine-tune permitted user actions, blocking those such as Copy-Paste and Save.
Through the aforementioned integration with Azure AD, your IT administration team will also have access to numerous compliance and conditional access controls. For example, you can prevent mobile devices from accessing your network before they’ve met specified compliance and security standards. You can also block access to certain services so that they are only accessible by specified apps.
How Can Microsoft Intune Help Your Business?
Now that you understand the features offered by Microsoft Intune, let’s explore how this software service can help your business. Bear in mind that Intune solves a number of business problems, some of which you might not have even thought about. Below, you’ll find five ways in which Intune can help solve device and employee management problems:
- Microsoft Intune reduces the risks associated with your employees accessing organizational emails and data. Remote work is becoming more widespread, and employees frequently access company apps using their own devices. By enrolling all devices in Intune, you can synchronize employee mobile access with the rest of your IT environment. At the same time, you can ensure that devices may only access your networks when they meet your specified security standards.
- You can see your employees’ time spent on each application. Worried about the impact of remote work on your organization? Employee productivity can be monitored with Intune, which allows you to see how much time is spent using each application on an enrolled device.
- Intune reduces the overheads involved in managing on-premise servers. The software is based in the cloud, which integrates with Microsoft’s suite of productivity and data management applications, including Windows 365 and Office 365.
Regulators are placing ever-increasing scrutiny on organizations and their data security, so it’s essential to have visibility and control of any device that accesses your systems and sensitive data. With experience in cloud transformation and workplace modernization, Softlanding can help you roll out Microsoft Intune across your organization. Reach out to us today to find out more.