Mobile Device Management - Overview

Mobile device usage — smartphones and tablets — has exploded on the RPI campus and throughout the world. Mobile devices have been outselling traditional personal computers since 2011 and as these devices become ubiquitous on campus, so does the need to address their inherent risks.

Mobile device platforms present their own unique set of security challenges. The term “malware” has historically been associated with PCs and laptops, outside of industry experts, very few people really understand how anti-malware protection applies to their mobile phone.  Statistics suggest that a majority of mobile device users do not utilize password or PIN protection for their mobile device.

In the interest of improving mobile security at RPI, the DotCIO has implemented a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution by AirWatch to help implement some basic device protections. Currently, the AirWatch MDM is deployed in support of our Mobile Exchange service (MobEx) for RPI employees interested in securely accessing their Exchange mailbox on a supported mobile device.

Though we do not currently have an MDM service for student devices — smartphones and tablets — we are working to expand MDM in an effort to enhance the student experience at Rensselaer.