The Role of Microsoft Intune in Protecting Devices, No Matter Where They Are

Think back to before pre-2020, when the ability to work from home was something reserved as a special perk for few employees. That seemingly changed overnight; a remote or hybrid workforce has become a norm for many companies. According to Zippia, a career search platform, in 2018, 5.7% of American workers worked remotely. This crept up to 22.4% in 2019 and then to 41.7% in 2020. By 2022 the number had settled at about 26%.

Remote work is here to stay, with 15% of U.S. companies offering remote positions, Zippia’s survey found. Further, 16% of U.S. companies are now fully remote.

With more workers working from afar, however, comes increased challenges in managing devices, security, and more.

One solution that is helping businesses is Microsoft Intune. Intune is a cloud-based endpoint management solution. It manages user access and simplifies app and device management across many devices, including mobile devices, desktop computers and virtual endpoints.

Protect access and data on organization-owned and users’ personal devices. And, Intune has compliance and reporting features that support a Zero Trust security model.

The Challenge of Managing and Tracking Endpoints

According to Microsoft, “endpoints are physical devices that connect to a network system such as mobile devices, desktop computers, virtual machines, embedded devices and servers.”

Cybercriminals target these endpoints. Another way to define an endpoint is to think of each as a doorway, and these doorways are how cybercriminals get into networks to access corporate data. Common endpoint security risks include phishing, ransomware and malware.

If you’re thinking your company is too small to be targeted for a data breach, think again. A hacker can get to a much larger company by going through your systems first. The Cost of Data Breach report from IBM found that the average cost of data breaches in 2022 was $9.04 million per breach.

Picture trying to throw a net over all the devices being used by employees to access company data – personal phones, laptops and more. It becomes clear quickly how big and complicated endpoint management and tracking can be.

How Intune Can Help Your IT Team

Microsoft Intune, already built into Microsoft 365, aims to cut down on the costs and complexities of managing these devices. It allows your IT team to see the compliance and security status of all devices in real time.

Intune’s sister application, Autopilot, works with Intune as it sets up and pre-configures new devices.

Some key features of Intune are:

  • Manage company and personal devices, including devices owned by the company and personally owned devices. Intune supports Windows, Android and Apple products.
  • Simplify app management with a built-in app experience. Connect and distribute apps from your own private app stores and other apps programs, create app protection policies, and manage who can access the apps and the data they contain.
  • Automate policy deployment for apps, security, configuring devices, compliance and more. A device will only need internet access to receive the policies.
  • Use self-service features in your Company Portal app to reset PIN/password, install apps, join groups and so on. It’s an option to customize the Company Portal app, too, which might reduce the number of support calls.
  • If you are using mobile threat defense services like Microsoft Defender for Endpoint or a third-party service, Intune can integrate with these. Once integrated, you can create policies to respond to threats, do real-time risk analysis and automate remediation.
  • A web-based admin center focused on endpoint management, including data-driven reporting, accessible from any device with internet access.

How Sikich Can Support Intune Adoption and Use

We get it. Working from home or elsewhere allows your team more flexibility and work-life balance.

Sikich can help you install Autopilot and pair it with Intune. Once you join these solutions with Azure Active Directory, a fully cloud-based device management solution for the modern hybrid workforce will be at your fingertips.

Our Modern Workplace services support these needs, wherever your team works. Contact Sikich today to start the conversation.

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