Protect Your Flock Of Business IT Devices With Shepherd MDM 

6th July 2023

Shepherd is a new and highly cost-effective MDM system offered by Hardsoft

It allows even smaller businesses to easily manage and oversee their flock of IT hardware and keep business data safe.

It is a special new contender in the Apple MDM market since it is designed with smaller businesses in mind. Its priorities are to offer more features and security while keeping costs low for smaller companies at only £1.95 per user per week.

What Are MDMs?

Mobile Device Management software gives you remote control of all your business IT devices from a central source. By logging into your MDM from anywhere you can know the details of all your IT arsenal and manage them.

What Function Do MDMs Serve?

They improve automation, productivity, and cyber security while also making device management easier and more organised.

Businesses can push updates, app and content installations and security software to all their business IT hardware even laptops used by remote staff in their homes.

Managers can also remotely set permissions for devices and so have granular control of how their business equipment is used by employees.

They can manage which apps are allowed to be used on your business devices and how company data is used, shared, and accessed on your network even by remote devices.

You can even use them to wipe any lost or stolen devices.

For these reasons, MDMs have become one of the best ways to manage and ensure the safety of all your business IT hardware, including equipment that WFH staff are using away from the office.

You can even add BYOD to an MDM. BYOD are ‘bring your own devices’. The result is that even if a staff member uses their own personal laptop for work, you can add it to your MDM and keep company data safe.

Why Are MDMs Important To Businesses?

MDMs can play a central role in business cyber security alongside other protective software.

While other cybersecurity programmes are excellent at preventing malware, the issue of human error remains. 88% of data breaches in companies are caused by human error.

That is tough even for malware prevention software to guard against. Yet with an MDM set up to monitor the apps that your employees can use, and how they handle company data, it is a far safer and more proactive prevention of this type of breach.

The ability to remotely push out apps and other updates also saves companies a lot of time and therefore boosts automation and productivity. This in turn can lead to more time spent on profitable tasks.

Why Is Cybersecurity Increasingly Crucial For Businesses Of All Sizes?

As technology advances, the sophistication and ambition of hackers increase at a fast rate. The number of successful cyber hacks on businesses has risen sharply. According to the UK government’s 2022 Cyber Security Breaches report, 31% of businesses and 26% of charities estimate they were attacked at least once a week.

Do Smaller Businesses Really Need An MDM?

Many small business owners believe that larger companies are more frequently targeted by hackers because they have more money and client data to steal.

While it is true that certain industries, like FinTech, are more aggressively targeted because of the banking data that they hold, any business and any industry can be targeted.

In fact, hackers will frequently target smaller and medium-sized businesses because they expect them to have poorer cybersecurity in place.

Small businesses have smaller budgets and are, therefore, more likely to be financially damaged in the long term by a successful cyber hack.

Small businesses can be saved a lot of stress and heartache by simply using an MDM system.

What Are The Challenges With Smaller Businesses Trying To Use MDMs?

Small businesses using Apple IT hardware will likely be currently frustrated since one of the most well-known Apple MDM providers, Jamf, is discontinuing its lowest pay tier product.

Jamf Now will be discontinued in June 2023 with no direct replacement product in that price range of £2.20 per user per week.

Small businesses that are currently customers of Jamf Now will be automatically upgraded to the more expensive Jamf Fundamentals at £2.70 per user per week.

This is, naturally, unhappy news for those businesses who have been sensible to use an MDM and stay loyal customers of Jamf.

Luckily, you can still protect your flock of IT devices by switching to Hardsoft’s new MDM, Shepherd.

But Don’t Apple Products Already Have Great Cybersecurity?

It is true that Apple products have outstanding in-built cybersecurity and are constantly improving their tech and pushing security updates to their operating systems.

However, human error still provides weaknesses. Barracuda, Sophos, and Avast are cyber security software that can help protect your business from malware, phishing, and hack attempts but employees can still make mistakes or even maliciously share company data. An MDM puts the control in the managers’ hands to prevent certain apps from being installed or company data from being used on certain apps that could lead to exterior sharing.

Why Is Shepherd So Good For Business Cyber Security?

Not only has Shepherd filled a much-needed gap in the market left in the wake of Jamf Now’s discontinuation but it includes many more features than Jamf Now or Jamf Fundamentals.

The following features are offered by both Jamf Fundamentals and Shepherd MDM:

  • Asset Management
  • Dashboards and Reports  
  • User and Client Management      
  • Profile Management and Deployment    
  • Supports Automated Device Enrollment (ADE)           
  • Hardware Inventory
  • Self Service Catalog         
  • Apple Apps and Books Support   
  • Scheduled or On-Demand Maintenance Routines

However, Shepherd also offers:

  • Real-time Device Monitoring & Alerting  
  • Screen Sharing                
  • Instant Remote Command Execution               
  • Real-time Communication 
  • Live Device Shell    
  • 100% Cloud Architecture            
  • Direct Command Line Access               
  • Integrated Remote Control (Multiple options)
  • Active Monitoring with Automated Remediation          
  • Dynamic Peer-to-Peer LANCache Software Distribution        
  • Live Script Execution at a Global, Departmental or Individual Level  
  • Up-to-the-minute Software Inventory & Status

The up-to-the-minute software inventory and status allow companies to ensure that every piece of Apple IT hardware in their collection has the right software and it is up to date.

Real-time device monitoring and alerting + active monitoring and automated remediation give a higher level of control and security than most other MDMs. With multiple options for integrated remote control, businesses have an unrivalled level of security features to manage their Apple collection.

Shepherd also provides onboarding training and extensive expert support, so that the transition and use of the software is easy and seamless.

At only £1.95 per user per week it offers more security for less money than other MDMs so smaller businesses on a budget can defend their flock of devices without greater cost.