MDM and Blockchain

Hi Folks! In this blog, we will learn what Mobile Device Management (MDM) is and how blockchain technology can help for device management.

What is MDM?

MDM stands for Mobile device management. MDM software is designed to manage the end user mobile devices in terms of remote monitoring, security, software installation, job deployments etc. Organization needs the MDM software to control the use of employee’s devices. With the new trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices), especially in the work from home culture, MDM has become a necessity for the smooth and safe organizational functionality.

In BYOD culture, employees bring their own devices. It is found that an employee’s productivity and efficiency is improved in BYOD culture. Also, it can help organizations to reduce cost for maintenance and licensing of the devices. However, an organization needs to manage security, access levels and data breaches.

MDM Features:

Features provided by MDM software are as follows:

  • Device tracking
  • Software install/uninstall/restrict
  • Jobs deployment
  • Web surfing control and restriction
  • Remote control and monitoring
  • Multiple platform device support
  • Information broadcast
  • Report generation

Blockchain and MDM:

Blockchain is an emerging technology. It can be defined as a distributed ledger or a record keeping system. It is a powerful platform which is highly secure, transparent and resilient. Blockchain protects the transactions with complex mathematical calculations which are known as consensus algorithms.

Blockchain architecture

Using the blockchain technology in MDM will attach a private key with each device which can be used as a unique identification for the devices. It will protect the device from impersonation. The blockchain technology will protect the identity as well as other device information like hardware IDs, jobs deployed and data transmitted between mobile device and management software.

Referring to the blockchain architecture image, the first transaction in MDM can contain device data with a private key as identity. The subsequent transactions may contain the response of jobs deployed, dynamic data requested by MDM software etc.

Benefits and drawbacks of using Blockchain in MDM:

Using blockchain technology in MDM can ensure security, transparency and resilience of the data. It can reduce device impersonation. Distribution of data will remove the cons of centralized platform architecture. Due to the accuracy and trust that Blockchain creates, it can be used in managing IoT devices and real time data. For a use case where multiple parties are involved, blockchain creates trust between the parties with its security and transparency. However, we identify the user here by private key only. So in case an attacker gets the key, it is not easy to track who has performed the transaction.

Use case:

A good example we can study for MDM and Blockchain integration is ‘Supply chain tracking using Blockchain’.

We can take an example of real time delivery systems which deliver the items that have certain criteria of temperature or humidity for the storage. In this case IoT sensors would be connected with the delivery bags for measuring these properties. All the IoT device management can be done through MDM software which uses smart contracts for device management. If the product temperature or humidity is out of compliance at any point of time, the smart contract will update the status. This way organizations can get an opportunity to maintain the product quality and physical environment of the product. It can help them reduce the wastage percentage of their products. Also with the transparent contract, they can build customer trust and increase customer satisfaction.

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