Mobility solutions have transformed the way organizations operate in every industry. The commercialization of the internet, the unprecedented growth of cloud services, and the invention and proliferation of mobile devices have made it possible to work from anywhere.
For oil & gas companies that have their primary production facilities in the field, mobile solutions are a perfect fit. Over and above the standard utilities like email, file sharing, and collaboration apps, there is a wide range of oil & gas mobile solutions.
Industry-specific applications can streamline operations with apps ranging from service and work order automation, to plant maintenance and logistics.
Oil and gas companies that embrace mobile solutions have a competitive edge in the market. Leveraging this technology, they can improve productivity and processes, accelerate decision making, and boost revenues.
Mobile Technology Risks
The introduction of mobile solutions may have introduced a new way to work, but they have also created new cybersecurity risks.
In the past, corporate data and devices were all on-premise. I.T. controlled every device, and a firewall managed access to data. Cloud and mobile changed that traditional I.T. operating model.
Data moved out of the corporate data center and onto public cloud services, and users started accessing data from mobile devices beyond the firewall.
I.T. needed to find a new way to ensure corporate data security and mobile device management, or MDM, was the solution.
What is MDM?
Mobile device management (MDM) solutions help I.T. manage devices and ensure cybersecurity in a cloud-first, mobile era. MDM is a technology industry term and refers to a set of technologies that give I.T. the ability to manage remote mobile devices.
Typical MDM platforms give I.T. the control they need to deploy, secure, monitor, and integrate mobile devices from a central point.
Leveraging the functionality of an MDM platform, I.T. can manage mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in the same way they control desktop and laptop computers.
Why Do Oil & Gas Companies Need MDM?
MDM is a vital tool for any organization that allows its employees and contractors to access corporate data and services from a remote mobile device.
The mobility provided by smartphones, tablets, and even laptops is a double-edged sword. The promise of greater efficiency and productivity comes with additional security risks.
Mobile devices are often lost, stolen or misplaced putting the data they store on them at risk. People also use their smartphones, tablets, or laptops to connect to corporate systems from insecure locations like public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Mobile malware is growing at an alarming rate as the size and reach of this market makes it a prime target. As I.T. is the custodian of all digital assets in an organization, MDM provides a solution that helps them manage and secure mobile devices from these cybersecurity risks.
The Business Benefits of MDM
MDM is not only a security solution. It also gives I.T. the ability to manage smartphones, tablets, and other related devices.
This management functionality is vital in larger organizations where hundreds or even thousands of mobile devices are accessing corporate I.T. services.
MDM solutions give I.T. the visibility and control they need to ensure regulatory compliance, remotely manage users and devices, automate updates and app deployments, and enforce security policies.
1. Regulatory Compliance
Every business needs to adhere to industry, regional, and national compliance regulations. Many of these standards require enterprises to secure and prevent unauthorized access to confidential information.
When users access data via their mobile devices, they need to adhere to these compliance rules. Failing to do so puts the organization at risk from a potential cybersecurity incident, not to mention the penalties for non-compliance.
MDM solutions give I.T. the visibility and control they need to ensure their organization adheres to regulatory standards. It prevents users from circumventing security controls and provides I.T. with the ability to enforce device policies.
2. Remote Management
I.T. departments in oil & gas companies need a mechanism to support users and devices in the field. MDM solutions give I.T. complete remote management ability.
With MDM, I.T. can enable remote commands and controls and quickly troubleshoot any issues. Remote users can also request assistance and receive it from their I.T. department.
If an organization has users and devices in the field with no MDM capability, managing them can be complex and challenging as it would require field support staff. MDM helps you increase the productivity of your I.T. department and workforce as it enhances the efficiency of your support processes.
3. Device Updates and App Deployments
Patching and updating devices and systems is a fundamental I.T. security practice. Hackers continuously scan the internet for vulnerable devices they can compromise. As smartphones make up the vast majority of internet-enabled devices, they are a prime target for malware infection and data theft.
MDM solutions help keep mobile devices secure by giving I.T. the ability to update them remotely. I.T. departments can also use an MDM solution to deploy any enterprise apps they need to roll out to mobile users.
From a single console, they can deploy apps without touching every device. This feature, as well as the functionality that ensures every piece of software is running the latest version, make your workforce as productive and efficient as possible.
4. Security Enforcement
Another business benefit that MDM solutions offer is security policy enforcement. Enrolling a user’s smartphone or tablet onto the platform gives I.T. the ability to apply security measures to protect the user, their device, and the organization’s systems and data.
For example, I.T. can enforce a policy that requires every user to secure access to their phone or tablet with a passcode. They can also limit what the user can install and create a partition that separates company data from personal data.
If a user’s device is ever lost or stolen, they can also remotely erase data and settings ensuring the user and organization remain secure.
Mobile Device Management for Oil & Gas is Essential
Mobile solutions and devices have had a significant impact on businesses in every industry. Oil & gas companies leveraging the benefits of mobility can streamline operations, increase productivity and enhance efficiency.
With industry-specific solutions ranging from service and work order automation to plant maintenance and logistics, mobile solutions can give oil & gas companies a competitive advantage.
However, when the majority of a workforce is out in the field, mobility does come with its fair share of risks. Lost, stolen, or misplaced devices and the growing trend of mobile malware are a security risk. MDM solutions can help oil and gas companies defend against these threats by placing mobile devices under I.T.’s control.
These solutions can also increase the productivity of the workforce. Enabling remote management, automating device updates, and managing app deployments help improve the efficiency of I.T. services.
MDM solutions also ensure organizations remain compliant and give them the capability to enforce device policies that help secure the organization, its users, and its digital assets.
JMARK has been helping oil & gas companies in Springfield, Tulsa, and Fayetteville increase their success with the help of innovative I.T. solutions for thirty years. The driving force behind everything we do is to help our clients leverage technology to save money and achieve their goals.
To learn more about how we can help your oil & gas business implement an effective MDM solution, contact us today.