If we get straight to the point – Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS ) is vitally important in today’s market because it allows businesses to remain competitive, and secure. In the current climate, data protection and IT risk management remain a priority but they cannot restrict business agility and workers’ flexibility. Businesses need to have solutions in place that ensure cyber security, but those solutions cannot prevent employees from accessing the benefits of modern flexible working.
In this blog we take a look at what EMS is, why it can play an integral role in IT security, and what benefits companies can reap from implementing it.
What is Enterprise Mobility + Security and how can it make IT more secure?
Enterprise mobility refers to the management of cloud technology, data, hardware, people and processes to allow for business agility. Flexible working, remote working or ‘bring your own device’ schemes are examples of agile working, and the management of systems and assets within the business that make this agility possible is what creates enterprise mobility.
So, in turn, it makes sense that Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security is a suite of software that enables businesses to enhance their mobility – whilst still ensuring data security.
Enterprise Mobility + Security is a suite of Microsoft tools designed to enhance an IT systems’ security, whilst still providing with the system’s users with flexibility, protection of data and efficiencies.
EMS focusses on making businesses more secure with enhanced identity and access management, information protection, threat protection and cloud security.
With modern working practices, such as BYOD, being so important for many businesses to work efficiently, it’s critical that security is prioritised without flexibility being hindered. According to Computer Weekly, 61% of 500 UK SMEs that responded to a poll said they had experienced a cyber security incident since introducing a BYOD policy. That’s a worrying figure, and goes to show just why EMS is so critical in ensuring cyber security incidents are prevented, whilst still allowing modern working practices to run smoothly…
Want to learn more about the cyber security threats that businesses face? Read our blog: Cyber Security: The dangers we still need to be aware of
What are the components of EMS?
As mentioned before, EMS is a suite of Microsoft products all designed to enhance cyber security but to also maintain business mobility. With EMS the security features of Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 are increased and can be extended to your entire IT environment – even to non-Microsoft assets.
EMS is available within Office 365, with a variety of different combinations and bundles available. If you’re unsure about what option is right, and cost-effective, for you, speak to a trusted IT services provider and they will be able to guide you through the process and recommendations.
Searching for an IT services provider that can help your business run more smoothly and use resources wisely? Speak to Boldfield today
For now, let’s take a look at the core products featured in Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security:
Azure Active Directory Premium
Azure Active Directory is the identity and access management tool within EMS. Its main aim is to simplify identity management, and as such it enables:
- Role-based access, so the company can provide access to the apps and data that employees need.
- Easier high-volume device security, with features to make this more streamlined for businesses.
- Enhanced login security. This benefits both cyber security and the user of the system; multi-factor authentication, self-service password reset, single sign-on for multiple apps, and cross-app syncing allow for heightened security, but also less time spent by employees juggling passwords and access to a variety of systems.
- Threat and security reports are also available, allowing IT services to identify potential vulnerabilities.
Using employees’ Azure Active Directory profiles, Microsoft Intune securely links employees’ personal devices to your business’ data – and as a result it is integral to successful device management and BYOD schemes.
Microsoft Intune allows businesses to:
- Provide employees with secure access to data via a device (which could be their own mobile phone, for example).
- At the same time, employees may be reassured to know that they don’t need to hand over control of their devices to IT to get access to such data.
- The software also allows your company to block certain devices, users, apps or data.
- Android, iOS or Windows mobile devices can be connected to company data using Microsoft Intune.
Microsoft Information Protection
Previously Azure Information Protection, Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) is built to be a unified set of capabilities for classification, labelling and protection of data within your Microsoft platforms. Perhaps most importantly for businesses, MIP allows the protection of sensitive information – however, and wherever, it is shared or how it travels.
- Microsoft explains MIP allows businesses to know, protect and govern data, whilst also preventing data loss.
- Depending on the classification you set on data, MIP will encrypt the data, restrict who (inside and outside of your organisation) can see the data, and can discover where sensitive data resides.
- Data can even be protected across multiple devices – even if saved on a USB stick. With organisations such as Heathrow Airport coming under fire from the Information Commissioner’s Office (with a £120,000 fine too) due to data breaches on a USB sticks, it’s important that businesses take steps to protect their data wherever it may be stored.
Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
With your data in the cloud, and EMS in place, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics monitors everything about that data to detect suspicious patterns or trends in behaviour – that could indicate a cyber security breach or attack.
- There’s one very clear benefit to Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics – it uses your businesses data to identify potential cyber security issues swiftly. Allowing businesses to react quickly and protect sensitive data.
The suite of tools within EMS is complex, designed to cover all aspects of a business’s security and mobility. We’ve covered the key components that often yield the biggest benefits for businesses, but if you would like any further information about the full EMS suite, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Has remote working made the need for EMS greater?
The multi-fold benefits of EMS may be resonating with you, and the way your business is working right now. With many businesses shifting their entire operations, or a large proportion of them, to remote working, flexibility for employees and cyber security have been, and continue to be, critical. Employees need to be able to work productively from home, without there being any increased risk to sensitive data.
The trend for remote working isn’t set to reverse either – in fact, for the US Forbes predicts that the number of employees working remotely permanently is set to double in 2021. If that’s the case for the UK too, then businesses need to be looking at long-term, secure and flexible solutions – like EMS.
Cyber security is going to be vital: Deloitte reported that 47% of employees fall for phishing scams when working from home, and in 2020 the City of London Police reported that since January 2020 more than GBP 11 million have been lost due to COVID-19 scams. It’s an unfortunate fact of the last 12 months that it’s become clear cyber security attacks target the remote workforce. EMS is designed to help manage that risk to businesses.
How do companies benefit from using the security product?
To summarise, EMS provides businesses with aligned cyber security systems that don’t sacrifice employee productivity or flexibility. A somewhat old-fashioned view of cyber security is that, for it be effective, businesses would have to sacrifice something else – whether that’s having employees simply accept they could not easily (and remotely) access the data they need, or with cumbersome process for IT to manage accesses and multiple devices.
EMS gets rid of that outdated view of cyber security – the suite of tools can bring businesses improved risk management and data protection, whilst allowing them to work flexibly – and as a result, remain competitive.
If you would like to speak to an expert about implementing EMS for your business, or simply how to enhance your cyber security or ability to work flexibly, the Boldfield team would be delighted to support you. Get in touch with us today.