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June 8, 2022 | Updated on: April 11, 2024 | Reading time 7 minutes

How Secure is Microsoft Office 365 Mobile Device Management?

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VP of Engineering

Businesses actively use Microsoft Microsoft 365 mobile device management for their employees. In this article, we provide its overview and assess its security.

What is Mobile Device Management?

The extensive use of mobile devices in daily business operations has created a new gateway for cybercrimes. The opportunities to damage business are numerous from obtaining employees’ credentials to stealing (and selling) sensitive information to corrupting data and ransom requests.

The entry points for criminals include unsafe internet connections, applications (including those sold on seemingly safe marketplaces), emails, SMS with unsafe links, etc.

The size and the very nature of a touchscreen increase the chances of clicking the wrong link by mistake. The unintended unblocking of the phone (e.g., while carrying it in a pocket) can also wreak havoc.

Finally, because we carry mobile devices all the time, there’s always a risk of leaving them behind somewhere. As a result, a phone can get into the wrong hands with all the sensitive data on it.

Mobile Device Management (MDM for short) is a tool that enables businesses (i.e., IT Admins) to successfully control smartphones and tablets and prevent the security breaches listed above.

Microsoft MDM Solutions

Microsoft has created multiple tools that help businesses build a safe digital environment for essential business processes, such as communication, collaboration on content, project management, etc.

There are two solutions that provide mobile device management for Microsoft 365:

  • Basic Mobility & Security
  • Microsoft Intune

The former is the built-in functionality of most plans except for Microsoft Intune, Enterprise Mobility & Security E3, and E5. It includes fewer features and applies to fewer devices compared to Intune. The latter has more capabilities, however, it only comes with certain plans like Microsoft Business Premium, Enterprise E3, and E5, etc.

To start using this feature, a super administrator should enable MDM Microsoft 365 on the Setup page. Keep in mind though that it usually takes a few hours to complete. Afterward, you can add mobile devices and policies in the Admin Center.

Once you’ve set up mobile device management for Microsoft 365, you need to make sure that every person in your company adds their smartphone, tablet, or Windows 10 PC to the system.

Luckily, the system enables you to remind the users to do so and notify you of non-compliance. Otherwise, you can restrict access to those who have failed to abide by the rules.

The functionality of Basic Mobility & Security

In this article, we’ll take a short overview of Microsoft Microsoft 365 mobile device management, including Basic Mobility & Security and Intune mobile device management. Please keep in mind that not all the functions work on every declared device.

Availability

Microsoft 365 Apps, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Office 365 E1, Office 365 E3, Office 365 E5, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Microsoft 365 Firstline 3, Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3, Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 Education A1, Microsoft 365 Education A3, Microsoft 365 Education A5

Device compatibility

iOS 11.0 and later versions; Windows 8.1 & 8.1 RT, 10 and 10 Mobile, Android 5.0 and later versions

Apps

Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint; Microsoft 365 mobile

Policies

  1. Enforce encryption on devices
  2. Prevent jailbreak and rooting
  3. Manage email profile options
  4. Wipe the corporate data from a mobile remotely
  5. Configures password requirements
  6. Control the settings of the cloud, app, system, and device capabilities.
  7. Control additional settings like Voice dialing
  8. Control settings supported by Windows

Remote control of Windows 10 devices

You can add devices with installed Windows 10 to your system.

The functionality of Microsoft Intune

You can think of Intune as an “upgrade” of Basic Mobility and Security. It has all the features of the latter. And in addition to that, Intune MDM works on more devices and provides bigger functionality.

Availability

Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Microsoft 365 Firstline 3, Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3, Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 Education A1, Microsoft 365 Education A3, Microsoft 365 Education A5, Microsoft Intune, Enterprise Mobility & Security E3, Enterprise Mobility & Security E5.

Device compatibility

Windows, iOS, Android, Android Samsung KNOX, mac OS, iPad OS

Features

Check out some of the features that are unique to Intune

Microsoft Office 365 Mobile Device Management: Basic vs. Intune

Screenshot from Microsoft Support Center

Microsoft Office 365 Mobile Device Management: Intune

Data from Microsoft Support Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Ho do I turn off mobile device management in Microsoft 365?

To turn off Basic Mobility and Security, you can either (1) remove groups of people (devices) defined by security groups from the device management policies, or (2) remove the policies themselves.

1. To remove user security groups type https://compliance.microsoft.com/basicmobilityandsecurity in your browser > select a device policy, and select Edit policy > on the Deployment page, select Remove > under Groups, select a security group > select Remove, then Save.

2. To remove Basic Mobility and Security device policies type https://compliance.microsoft.com/basicmobilityandsecurity in your browser > select a device policy, and then select Delete policy > select Yes in the Warning dialog box.

How to remove my device from Microsoft Intune?

Do the following steps to remove your devices from Microsoft intune:

For Windows 10/11, open the Settings app > go to Accounts > Access work or school > Select the account > select Disconnect, then Yes.

For Windows 8.1 PC go to PC Settings > Network > Workplace > Under Workplace Join, select Leave > select Turn off > conform the turn off on the popup window.

Does Microsoft 365 have mobile device management?

Yes, Microsoft 365 offers two mobile device management solutions – Microsoft Intune and Microsoft Basic Mobility & Security. Microsoft Intune is a standalone product included with certain Microsoft 365 plans, while Microsoft Basic Mobility & Security is part of the Microsoft 365 plans.

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Written by

VP of Engineering at Spin.AI

Sergiy Balynsky is the VP of Engineering at Spin.AI, responsible for guiding the company's technological vision and overseeing engineering teams.

He played a key role in launching a modern, scalable platform that has become the market leader, serving millions of users.

Before joining Spin.AI, Sergiy contributed to AI/ML projects, fintech startups, and banking domains, where he successfully managed teams of over 100 engineers and analysts. With 15 years of experience in building world-class engineering teams and developing innovative cloud products, Sergiy holds a Master's degree in Computer Science.

His primary focus lies in team management, cybersecurity, AI/ML, and the development and scaling of innovative cloud products.

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