Profile security and requirements for mobile devices

One of the crucial topics related to mobile devices regards profile security and you should also be aware of it in order to optimise your work with your gadgets.

Profile security concept

So, what is a profile on mobile devices and why would you need one? A profile is essentially a set of configurations and security settings that can be reused and used on any particular category of users and devices. This is generally created by the administrator of the mobile management team. Now, as you have noticed already, this profile is typically used in larger down to any size organizations where it shines well.

Profile configuration

The profile configuration is done via management software like mobile device management (MDM) or any such application, for instance, Apple Configurator. These profiles format often comes in text-based files, eXtensible Markup Language (XML) format. They are then sent to the devices that require them. These profiles have no one standard and are generally developed by the need and requirements of the organization.

This is highly modifiable and you can also develop a profile for any specific kind of devices, operating systems, or platforms.

Profile usage

When would you need a profile though? Anytime, when a business has more layers of hierarchies in its management system, from low to as high as the CEO, and the employees of the company use the company-owned device or BYOD, or a hybrid of both. In such cases, this profile will work as something like the Windows operating system’s users and groups management system does.

This is incredibly useful in terms of the management system. You do not want to give authority to a lower level of the hierarchy in the organization the same authority a CTO or CEO would have. Having a profile would distribute the whole authority and boundary to all levels where they are applied properly. This is not only limited to the organizational structure but can go beyond the organization and to the outside people indirectly or directly involved in the business, the business partners or consultants, etc.

Oftentimes, this kind of users requires a minuscule number of access to the company resources, whether it is through the company-given devices or the user’s own devices. These kinds of group specific profiles can help the company to keep their own resources where they are and keep the outsiders out with limited access to their resources. They have their own specific network configuration and security settings, or some specific VPN settings.

Why would they need access to the company’s resources depends on what business the company has with them. If they require permission to use the enterprise or business-to-business (B2B) apps that are hosted on the company server, they need permission to use the apps.

Possible issues to keep in mind

You can configure several different profiles and deploy them to a device at once, and/or based on platform, user group, and so on. Yet, one thing you guys may face is conflicts due to multiple configurations and profiles. For instance, restrictive configurations and security settings on a device profile may not stay consistent with the lesser restrictive ones in the group or user profiles.

If both are applied to the device, different configuration settings are highly likely to conflict and in some instances overwrite each other’s settings. Therefore careful attention to the precedence of profile and configurations of the MDM server may resolve the conflicts in such cases.

Another thing you wanna make sure of is that the company has profiles developed and applied to different company-owned devices versus employee-owned devices. The profile applied to BYOD devices is supposed to be quite distinct from the profiles applied to company-owned devices. These are supposed to be included in the privacy and policies of the company applied for respective categories of devices like BYOD, company-owned, or hybrid. These are extremely important to deploy some heavy security settings inside the company.