When it comes to managing iOS devices in the enterprise, IT departments have a lot more options than you may think.
Through tools such as Apple Configurator, Data Protection and Apple's Volume Purchasing Program, you can configure devices, encrypt data on iPhones and iPads and deliver applications to those iOS devices without a ton of leg work. Some administration features that are built into iOS devices even make them easier to manage.
Whether you're just starting to look at ways to deal with the iOS devices that are on your network or you have a full-scale corporate iPad deployment, learn which tools are available to you and how you can use them to take back some control.
Locking down iOS devices
You may not think you have to worry about threats such as security attacks or viruses compromising user's iOS devices, but those threats can harm corporate assets. Make sure users have the right security settings turned on, and that they aren't inadvertently backing up enterprise data through iCloud.
Apple's Data Protection and the built-in encryption that come with iOS make a powerful system for keeping data secure. But if users don't have Data Protection enabled on their devices, those devices only have the encryption to fall back on, which isn't enough protection in many cases. Continue Reading
Despite Apple's reputation for security, experts say it's only a matter of time before iOS devices are subject to security attacks. Right now, there aren't many options to protect iOS devices against viruses and malware, and if users own the devices, you won't be able to force them to download anti-malware applications. Continue Reading
The App Store's strict app restrictions and strong sandboxing make it so that there aren't any viruses that attack iOS devices yet. But employees' iOS devices can be a conduit for viruses, channeling those viruses onto the corporate network. Once they infiltrate the network, the viruses can wreak havoc, so protect your corporate data and devices that might be at risk. Continue Reading
The automatic backup feature in Apple's iCloud is great for users, but you have to worry about the corporate data that might get backed up from an employee's device to the cloud. You can use Apple's application programming interfaces to make restricting and managing iCloud access a little easier. Continue Reading
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Managing iOS, iPhones and iPads
There are tools available to you that make managing and configuring devices and applications a little easier, such as Apple Configurator, the Volume Purchasing Program, and even some of the features that are built into iOS devices.
Apple Configurator makes it easy for you to control and deploy settings to iOS devices. It's free from the Mac App Store, runs on Macs with OS X 10.7.5 or later and iTunes 10.7 or later, but you have to connect devices to that Mac to configure them. You can configure up to 30 devices at once. Continue Reading
You can configure iOS devices with Apple Configurator, but it isn't a full mobile device management tool. Instead of relying on Configurator as your sole management tool, it's a good idea -- especially in big companies -- to include it as a part of a broader MDM strategy. You can use Apple Configurator to import and export configuration settings and share profiles among other admins. Continue Reading
Many tools can help you install apps on mobile devices, but Apple's Volume Purchasing Program lets you render payment for commercial apps downloaded from the App store. The VPP lets employers buy applications licensed in bulk so you don't have to push software and profiles to devices. Continue Reading
It's nearly impossible to manage iPads with Active Directory because the two aren't made to work together. AD is for managing enterprise assets, but the iPad is a consumer device. So instead of trying to make managing iPads with AD work, implement ActiveSync and Exchange System Manager to control password management. Continue Reading
A corporate iPad deployment might sound scary, but fear not: Apple's iPad comes with some built-in management features that let IT administrators keep track of and lock down the devices. Continue Reading
Though it can be a hassle to print a document from a mobile device, there are some options to help users print from iOS devices. Apple AirPrint lets iOS apps and devices print to print drivers without much configuration or leg work on the user end. Other options for printing from iOS are Google CloudPrint and mobile printing applications from printer manufacturers. Continue Reading
How much do you know about Apple in the enterprise?
IT administrators can't ignore iOS devices that are in the enterprise, but iPhones and iPads lack the same robust management features that admins use to lock down desktops. Luckily, Apple has added enterprise-focused management options to its devices. Are you up to speed on them?Take This Quiz
Apple terms and definitions
Check out these definitions and learn more about Apple and iOS devices in the enterprise.