MDM vs MAM: Understanding Office 365’s Mobile Management Solutions


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it never ceases to amaze me how quickly technology is advancing. One day we were using desktop computers, and the next moment, we were introduced to the convenience of mobile devices. However, with this increased convenience comes an increased risk of cyber-attacks.

In today’s world, we all depend on our mobile devices to access work-related information. This can range from sending emails to accessing important files on cloud services, all while we’re on the go. Understandably, businesses must ensure that their devices, and more importantly, the information they contain, stay secure. That’s where mobile management solutions come into play.

However, deciding between mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) can be a confusing challenge. In this article, we’ll help you understand the key differences and benefits of the two mobile management solutions, specifically in the context of Office 365. So let’s dive in!

What is the difference between MDM and MAM in Office 365?

MDM and MAM are two critical components of Office 365 mobile security that perform different roles. MDM (Mobile Device Management) primarily focuses on managing mobile devices and the data that resides on them, whereas MAM (Mobile Application Management) focuses on protecting the corporate data within mobile applications.

Here are some differences between MDM and MAM in Office 365:

  • MDM provides overall device management, whereas MAM offers application-specific management.
  • MDM controls the device to enforce enterprise policies, while MAM controls only the data within the application.
  • MDM offers complete control to IT administrators over corporate devices, whereas MAM is designed to work within the boundary of company-owned data.
  • MDM offers broader visibility control as it manages the entire device, whereas MAM controls only the corporate apps.
  • MDM is more intrusive in terms of the control it places on enterprise devices, whereas MAM gives users more freedom to use non-corporate apps.
  • It is important to note that while MDM and MAM can be used together, they are distinctly different but complementary solutions for mobile device management and security. Organizations must consider the deployment scope and management needs of the business before deciding on the ideal mobile security strategy.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Understand the Basics: To differentiate between MDM and MAM in Office 365, it is essential to understand the basics of mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM). MDM is a security-focused solution that helps manage devices and the data stored on them, while MAM is about securing and controlling applications without restricting access to the device’s data.

    2. Analysis of Business Objectives: Before opting for any solution in Office 365, it is essential to analyze and understand the business objectives. MDM may be a better fit for companies that want comprehensive control over their mobile devices’ security and functionality. In contrast, MAM may work better for organizations that want to secure specific applications.

    3. Consider Device Ownership: Another factor to consider is whether the device is company-owned or personally owned. MDM solutions are ideal for company-owned devices as they allow greater control over the devices’ overall security and functionality. On the other hand, MAM solutions make more sense for personally-owned devices since they can help ensure that sensitive corporate data remains secure while allowing employees to use their device comfortably.

    4. Compliance Needs: Compliance and regulatory requirements are essential in different industries, and organizations need to make sure they adhere to relevant regulations for their business operations. It is essential to consider these requirements before choosing between MDM and MAM solutions to ensure that the chosen solution meets essential compliance standards.

    5. Determine the Best Fit: To determine whether MDM or MAM in Office 365 is better for your organization, assess your business’s unique requirements, including compliance, device ownership, and security needs. Proper research and consideration of these factors will ultimately help you identify which solution is best suited for your organization.

    Overview of Office 365 Mobile Application Management (MAM)

    In today’s mobile-dependent world, protecting corporate data has become increasingly critical. Office 365 Mobile Application Management, also known as MAM, is a solution that provides organizations with the ability to secure and manage corporate data in the Office 365 application suite. With MAM policies, organizations can control how data is accessed, used, and copied within the Office 365 applications.

    MAM allows organizations to protect corporate data, regardless of whether the device is corporate-owned or personally-owned. This means that the policies set through MAM apply only to Office 365 applications, leaving personal applications and data untouched. By deploying MAM policies, companies can prevent data leakage and maintain control over corporate files and information.

    Understanding Mobile Device Management (MDM) in Office 365

    Mobile Device Management, also known as MDM, is another solution offered by Office 365 for securing and managing mobile devices. However, MDM provides more comprehensive control over the device, including the operating system and all installed applications. MDM policies can apply to the entire device, not just to Office 365 applications.

    With MDM, organizations can enforce security policies such as device encryption and screen lock, restrict device settings and features, and wipe corporate data in case of loss or theft of the device. MDM is particularly useful for maintaining control over lost or stolen devices and can be used to ensure all corporate data is removed from a device once it has been lost or stolen.

    Key differences between MAM and MDM in Office 365

    While both MAM and MDM are designed to manage and protect data in mobile environments, they serve different purposes. The key differences between the two solutions are:

    Scope: MAM only applies to Office 365 apps, while MDM covers the entire device and all installed apps.

    Device Ownership: MAM policies can be applied to both personal and corporate-owned devices, while MDM policies are best suited to corporate-owned devices.

    Control: MAM policies only control data in Office 365 apps, while MDM policies can control all aspects of the mobile device, including device settings and installed applications.

    Importance of protecting corporate data in Office 365 mobile applications

    Mobile applications make it easy to access and use data, but they also create numerous risks for organizations. Mobile devices are prone to theft, loss, and hacking, which can lead to data breaches and data loss. In addition, mobile applications can be used to bypass traditional security mechanisms, such as firewalls and antivirus software. The importance of protecting corporate data in Office 365 mobile applications cannot be overemphasized.

    By implementing MAM policies, companies can manage app-level security settings like data classification, access control, and data sharing permissions. A well-implemented MAM solution ensures that sensitive data remains under control and protected from accidental or intentional loss.

    Enforcing rules to govern data usage and transfer between applications

    A comprehensive mobile security solution such as MAM or MDM is essential for controlling corporate data in Office 365 mobile applications. MAM policies can be used to enforce data protection rules to control data usage and transfer between apps. Organizations can define policies to allow or restrict access to corporate data within the Office 365 apps.

    Some best practices to enforce rules governing data usage and transfer between applications using MAM include:

    • Defining controls for data transfer outside the managed app
    • Define boundaries for access to corporate data
    • Restrict data sharing within the Office 365 suite
    • Track and control compliance of employees with established MAM policies

    How to implement MAM and MDM in Office 365

    To implement MAM or MDM in Office 365, organizations need to follow a few basic steps:

    1. Understand the benefits and limitations of each solution to determine which is right for your organization.
    2. Develop policies and guidelines for data handling and protection in mobile environments.
    3. Select the appropriate tools and features to support those policies.
    4. Deploy and configure MAM and/or MDM solutions across your mobile devices.
    5. Train users and establish guidelines for data access and usage.
    6. Establish processes for ongoing management, monitoring, and support for your mobile security solution.

    Benefits and limitations of MAM and MDM in Office 365

    MAM and MDM are both important tools for securing and managing corporate data in mobile environments. However, each has its own benefits and limitations.

    Benefits of MAM:

    • Does not impact personal device data
    • Allows for flexible data controls
    • Easy to deploy without any device registration

    Limitations of MAM:

    • Only applies to Office 365 applications
    • Can be bypassed by other apps on the device
    • User education is essential for successful implementation

    Benefits of MDM:

    • Provides comprehensive device-level control
    • Allows for strict device and app-level compliance
    • Can be used to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices

    Limitations of MDM:

    • May impact device performance and battery life
    • Requires device registration and management
    • Can interfere with user productivity

    In summary, both MAM and MDM are essential tools for protecting and managing corporate data in mobile environments. Organizations must evaluate their needs and determine which solution is best suited for their environment. By implementing an effective mobile security solution, companies can reduce the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks, ensuring maximum protection of corporate assets and data.