There are many different connectivity options used for the management and control of our mobile devices. In this video, you’ll learn about Bluetooth pairing, Global Positioning System, and Mobile Device Management.
If you’ve ever connected an external device to your tablet or your mobile phone, then you’ve had to go through the Bluetooth pairing process. This is a security function that allows you to control exactly what devices are able to communicate to your mobile phone or your tablet. This commonly requires you to view or verify a particular phrase or personal identification number to be assured that you’re really connecting the device you have in front of you.
This pairing process is something you only have to do one time. From that point forward, any time these devices are together, they will automatically connect and network with each other. The process I’ll give you in this video for Bluetooth pairing is a very generic one, but each of the steps may vary just a little bit depending on the device you’re using. Make sure you check with the manufacturer to understand the exact pairing process and what buttons or settings you should configure to make sure these devices can connect to each other and communicate using Bluetooth.
The first step in the pairing process is making sure that both devices are configured to use Bluetooth. Some devices, like a mobile phone, allow you to disable the Bluetooth functionality. So make sure that it’s turned on on both of the devices that you’re pairing. You’ll then set the devices to a discoverable mode so that they can be seen by each other. And this may require a certain set of key sequences on a Bluetooth device to put it into that mode. For example, if you have a headset, it may be holding a particular button or pushing a button a number of times that puts it into this discoverable mode.
Once your device is in this discoverable mode, it should show up on the list of available devices for Bluetooth. And there may be a number of devices on this list, especially if you’re in an area with a lot of Bluetooth devices. You’ll want to choose the device you’re working with from the list of available Bluetooth devices in your immediate area. You’ll then be prompted to either confirm or to enter a personal identification number or pin. This ensures that there is some security, and you know exactly what devices you’re adding to your mobile phone. And that’s it. You’re now paired with your Bluetooth device. And you can usually test connectivity at that point to make sure that both of those devices are able to communicate with each other.
Many of our mobile phones are communicating to multiple satellites every day using GPS or the Global Positioning System. These GPS satellites were originally created by the US Department of Defense, and there are currently over 30 GPS satellites in orbit around the Earth. This allows us to get very precise navigation from our devices. And as long as our phone is able to hear the signals coming from at least four of these satellites, we can now get very precise information about where we happen to be in the world.
Our phones are able to calculate where we happen to be based on timing differences from all of these different satellites. We’re able to calculate longitude, latitude, and altitude of where we may be located. We don’t commonly see these signals that we’re receiving from a GPS satellite, but we do see the results of these signals. We commonly see this when we have maps or when we need directions to a particular location, and our phone can calculate exactly where we are relative to where we need to be.
Our phones are also very smart in how they gather information about where we’re located in the world. And often GPS is one of those primary sources, but our phones can also use Wi-Fi connectivity and identify cellular towers in our area to narrow down, more precisely, where we might happen to be. In a large organization, you may be responsible for managing all of these mobile devices that are being used by employees of your organization. One way to manage this is through the use of a mobile device management solution or an MDM. This means that you can manage all of the company owned phones or any phones that users might own that they bring to work. We call this Bring Your Own Device or BYOD.
This allows the manager of the MDM to sit at a single console and gain access to the configurations of all of the mobile devices in their environment. This is especially important if company data is being stored on these devices. We need some way to manage the security and update the configuration settings of all of those mobile phones and tablets. If the manager wants to ensure that certain applications are installed, the data is protected, or that certain capabilities of the phone are enabled or disabled, such as the camera, you can do all of that using the MDM.
We commonly use our phones as one large storage device, but when you have part of the phone being used for personal use and part of the phone being used for work use, you may want to use an MDM to be able to partition out the company data and protect that differently than the rest of the private data on that phone. This also means that if you need to delete or remove any of that company data, you can do that on the mobile device without affecting any of the user’s private data. This might also be a good way to increase the security of your mobile devices. For example, you can use the MDM to manage the type of access control that’s being used on a mobile phone.
For example, you may require that the screen automatically lock after a certain amount of time and that users are using a minimum of a personal identification number to unlock the phone. This can also make things very easy for the end user. Instead of having the user manage the email configuration and set up all of the detailed configuration settings for that email, you can simply push out the email configuration from the MDM. The user doesn’t have to configure or set up anything on their mobile device. And if changes need to be made later, you can simply push those changes from the MDM console.
The MDM is also a good way to add enhanced security to these devices. For example, your security controls may require two factor authentication on these devices, there may be a personal identification number, or you may require users to include biometrics when they’re unlocking the phone. You might also use the MDM to push down applications that are useful for two factor authentication. For example, your company might use a pseudo random authentication app that provides a number that would be used in conjunction with your username and password each time you log into a service.
And of course, the MDM can control what applications are available on that mobile phone. There may be certain applications that are required for you to use in the corporation. And the MDM can ensure that those applications are installed automatically on your phone. The MDM can also be used to prevent certain applications from being installed. So if the security of this device is important, you may have certain applications that are restricted or forbidden from being installed on your mobile device.