How Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security Can Secure Remote Working

Once perceived as a luxury and a likely threat to productivity, remote working has now become a worldwide standard due to circumstances out of our control, and it’s quickly become apparent that those old fears were largely unfounded. Supported by capable IT resellers, companies of many varieties have discovered that they can work very capably outside of the traditional office structure.

That said, capably doesn’t necessarily mean securely. One of the core benefits of working from the same area is that security is much easier to handle: a company can easily implement a solid intranet along with policies to prevent systems from being accessed from outside. Things aren’t so easy when employees are connecting from remote locations.

For security-minded companies, this presents a significant problem — and smart IT resellers can come to the rescue if they’re equipped to license Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (also known as the Enterprise Mobility Suite). In this article, we’re going to run through the features of this suite, setting out what makes it so valuable and how resellers can pitch it.

The features of Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security

Though the exact arrangement has changed over time, this suite currently provides a small but powerful group of tools that allow intelligence-driven management and security:

  • Identity and Access Management. Allowing only the right people to access key systems is essential for operational security, but flexibility is needed to handle mobile devices and situational permissions. Azure Active Directory is the core solution here, making the process of handling access extremely easy.
  • Information Protection. A lot of data should be freely accessible to everyone within an organisation, but there will always be files that must be kept under tight control. In addition to safeguarding such files, Azure Information Protection is capable of great nuance, such as identifying snippets of personal information and classifying them to ensure safety and adherence to GDPR.
  • Threat Protection. The bigger the company, the more likely it is that someone will make a mistake by clicking on a link to a malicious file, or that someone from outside the organisation will specifically target it. Bringing together Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics and Azure Advanced Threat Protection, this suite keeps threats at bay.
  • Cloud Access Protection. More and more apps and services are handled through cloud processing, with data being shared in complex but necessary ways. Microsoft Cloud App Security serves to provide insight and analytics for cloud access, along with controls for limiting how data travels.

Lastly, to bring everything together, there’s Microsoft Endpoint Manager. It combines Microsoft Intune, a broad cloud-based management solution, with various other relevant utilities such as Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager and Windows Autopilot.

There are currently two available tiers of this suite: E3, and E5. They offer mostly the same features, but differ in a few ways, with the latter adding some more complex functionality in the areas of access management and information protection.

Why it’s so important for operations working remotely

The advantage of working from an office building is that the security level can easily be standardised. Every computer can run on the same local intranet and have its access tightly controlled by a local IT team — and provided there’s sufficient security to prevent thieves from getting access to the office space (and ensure that only trusted employees ever remove any equipment), there isn’t much cause to be concerned about device access.

Remote working is a different matter entirely. It isn’t just about moving office hardware out into the world: if a company hires someone working remotely from the outset, it will need to grant them some level of access (at least before it can ship them out a company laptop), and that will require them to grant temporary permissions with set restrictions.

There’s also the much greater chance of devices being stolen. If an employee’s house is broken into when they’re somewhere else, their laptop can be in the hands of criminals for quite some time without the company knowing what’s happened. Factor in the possibility of that employee leaving their device unlocked and you have a worrying scenario.

Through making it easy to provide and remove permissions to different people and devices, keep particular pieces of data secure, and guard against viruses and malware, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security constitutes a full-range solution for remote businesses — one that offers even more for those already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.

How to explain its value to unfamiliar customers

Not all companies are fully aware of how important it is to protect their IT systems. They might think that occasionally changing their passwords is good enough, assuming that only giant corporations ever fall victim to online attacks. This simply isn’t the case. Any company can be attacked for any number of reasons, and it’s very risky to sit back and do nothing to prevent it.

Stolen physical goods can sometimes be recovered, but unauthorised access to important internal data has an impact that cannot be undone. Explain to your clients that investing in security as soon as possible is the smart move to make, and that this suite in particular is among the most convenient solutions on the market.

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