Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Your phone contains a wealth of information. If you were to lose it, how much could someone learn about you? How much could they learn about the University? Protect yourself and the U of A by enrolling your corporate cell phone in Mobile Device Management (MDM).
More information about MDM can be found on the UAlberta Mobile Device Management site.

What is Mobile Device Management?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is an application called AirWatch for mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets. AirWatch will enhance information security by ensuring a six-digit pin (passcode, password or pattern) and enabling file and email encryption. It adds an additional layer of security by separating emails into a corporate email container.

Why is the university implementing MDM?

The U of A is implementing MDM to enhance security and reduce the risk of a breach of personal and/or U of A information. Additionally, an MDM tool aligns with the Information Technology Security Policy and Encryption Procedure. All corporate cell phone users will need to download the MDM application. Based on security best practices, users will have three days to set a six-digit pin or password after downloading the application.

How will MDM help me?

If you lose your corporate cell phone, you can contact IST (780-492-9400) to delete any U of A, personal, student or employee information off your phone, thus reducing the risk of a privacy or security breach. To update your phone pin or locate your lost phone, you can visit the MDM self service portal.

How do I enrol in MDM?

You will receive an email with instructions on how to download the AirWatch MDM application on your cell phone and enrol. As well, the MDM Google Site provides step-by-step user guides for iOS and Android.

What occurs during the enrolment process?

The steps to enrol are as follows:

  1. Remove your existing U of A email account from your Apple (iOS) device before enrolling.
  2. Unsync your U of A email account from your Android device before enrolling and encrypt your Android device.
  3. Authenticate your CCID.
  4. Accept the Terms of Use.
  5. MDM will automatically configure your U of A email account in a secure manner.
  6. As part of the U of A's security policy, the mobile device will be encrypted automatically, including both internal storage and SD cards (if applicable).
  7. For Apple iOS platforms, a device passcode automatically enables full-disk encryption. For Android devices, internal storage encryption is mandatory and is irreversible without destruction of data. This means that devices will continue to be encrypted even after the policy is removed and the user must reset the device to factory settings to remove the encryption.

Android recently updated their security settings with the release of Android 6. The security improvements are why users need to explicitly give the AirWatch agent access to certain settings during enrolment. You will need to grant permission to phone access so that the AirWatch agent can detect the SIM card only and is not monitoring communications.

See Six Key Security Features in Android Marshmallow 6.0 for further explanations.

Where can I find help?

For any questions about MDM, please contact IST: