Mobile devices have a number of built-in security controls that protect user data. Depending on the platform, these may include the restriction of applications to those installed through a centralized app store; limiting the capabilities of apps to access the underlying operating system; and preventing external connections to the device. Naturally, some power users dislike these controls, and the Internet is full of sites offering advice on how they can remove these restrictions by “jailbreaking” their devices.
As one might expect, jailbreaking mobile devices introduces a number of security concerns:
Without an MDM platform, IT administrators have no way of knowing if a user has jailbroken a device without physically inspecting it. But with MDM, IT managers can detect unapproved operating system configurations on altered mobile devices and can respond in a number of ways, ranging from removing enterprise data from the device to requiring that the user return the device for reimaging to a secure baseline configuration.
For more information on mobile-device management, read the CDW white paper, "Mobile Device Management: Not What It Used to Be."