The Mobile Identity Management (MIM) Software Market
One of the most challenging aspects related to enterprise mobility management (EMM) is safeguarding devices from being accessed by non-enterprise entities.
Mobile identity management (MIM), as part of a robust EMM security strategy, helps enterprises stay one step ahead of attackers.
MIM is consistent with the guidelines laid out in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, as well.
Mobile identity management (MIM) software
MIM is a device-agnostic mobile security approach used to regulate mobile content and restrict how data can be accessed or transmitted. Enterprises can use MIM via stand-alone software or as part of security services packages through third party vendors.
Some vendors, like IBM, use the term identity and access management (IAM) instead of, or interchangeably with, MIM. These terms mean virtually the same thing.
How does MIM work?
While MIM may seem similar to other enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions, it’s important to remember that unlike device management approaches, this software focuses exclusively on the data at hand versus the devices being used to access and transmit that data. MIM software encrypts sensitive enterprise and personal data and prevents unauthorized applications from accessing, storing or transmitting it.
MIM protects identity data and access management via functions like digital certifications, single sign-on, device enrollment management and authentication oversight. MIM is typically used alongside other EMM solutions as part of a comprehensive mobile security approach.
Behavioral analytics and MIM software
Advanced MIM software sometimes includes behavioral analytics features used to verify mobile users’ behaviors and the way they interact with other people, devices, and tools.
Multi-factor authentication is a primary example of how behavioral analytics can enhance MIM approaches. Here, the software verifies users via physical objects like access cards or biometrics like a fingerprint or facial scan. These steps can thwart many common cyber attacks and prevent access to enterprise data and content when a device is lost or stolen — behavioral analytics takes the multi-factor authentication approach a step further.
This technology can even analyze how users hold and interact with their phones. By establishing a baseline for expected device usage, behavioral analytics capable MIM software can create fast, effective, snapshot solutions that can identify unusual behaviors in an instant, before the damage is done.
There are numerous MIM options available in the marketplace, offering a wide range of features to fit various enterprise needs. Look for MIM software with features like:
Regulatory compliance features focused on data leakage prevention
Third-party integrations that work with your existing enterprise software
Enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) infrastructure
Individual file sharing rule setting capabilities
Multi-device support that allows for file sharing (device-agnostic MIM is ideal)
Content location search features
Secure media capture for images, audio, video, etc.
Searchable data management interface
Many vendors offer a spectrum of product offerings that can be upgraded as enterprise needs change. It may make the most financial sense to select a product focused on a few critical needs and add on more services later instead of opting for a product that will become obsolete to the enterprise within a few years.
Benefits of MIM
Of the many relevant applications where MIM can be helpful, enterprises with a mobile workforce may find the most peace of mind when introducing these solutions.
With MIM features in place, employees can access centralized databases from outside the office without fear of inadvertently putting data in jeopardy. Being able to instantly access relevant customer information while on a repair call, for example, can be incredibly helpful versus calling in to the home office to retrieve the information by phone.
Data protected by the encryption and authentication measures built in to MIM software is protected when devices are lost, as well. This is not an unlikely scenario — Kensington reports that over 70 million smartphones are lost every year in the U.S.
MIM use cases
Enterprises frequently use MIM across four primary areas.
Single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication features are essentially access management tools used within the MIM framework. Virtually every MIM approach includes some kind of access management oversight and control.
Privileged access management
Access management is a foundational element of any enterprise network security approach, up to and including MIM elements. MIM software helps enterprises extend their access management policies to mobile device users who need to access enterprise databases and secure network areas.
Identity governance and administration
MIM can provide tools that ensure enterprise compliance with various industry and legal regulations around privacy and data. MIM software that includes reporting and auditing capabilities can be particularly useful for enterprises with significant compliance considerations.
Consumer identity and access management
Companies that need to accommodate customer-facing mobile data needs can use MIM software for authentication via customer identity management tools.
The mobile identity management market
ReportLinker estimates the global mobile identity management market to reach $54 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.6% over the period 2020-2027.
The U.S. market is worth an estimated $9.6 billion, according to ReportLinker’s analysis, with China just behind at $9.4 billion.
MIM is used by enterprise clients, large government entities, health care systems and a growing list of large-scale operations where sensitive data and content needs to be safeguarded on mobile devices.
TrustRadius identifies these MIM software products among its 10 most rated:
IBM Cloud App ID
Oracle Identity Governance
OneSpan Mobile Security Suite
Mitek Mobile Verify
MIM and EMM
MIM can play a vital role within a holistic EMM approach, especially when it is used alongside mobile application management (MAM) and mobile device management (MDM).
You may sometimes see MIM software referred to as mobile content management (MCM) software, but MCM is actually a wholly separate category within EMM. By the stricter definition, MCM specifically includes the management of content including spreadsheets, emails, schedules, presentations and other proprietary enterprise data.
Still, despite the slight differences in vendor definitions, there is a great deal of overlap between MIM and MCM when it comes to the overarching purpose of these security approaches from the enterprise perspective. Both are meant to protect enterprise data when it is accessed and transmitted via employee-operated mobile devices.
Within the context of EMM, MIM is the component most focused on establishing and verifying the credentials of mobile users when they need to access the enterprise content and data as specified in MCM policies.
Securely managing enterprise mobile data access is critical
Mobility has become an expected, fundamental part of modern enterprise operations. Employees, and in many cases, customers and clients, need to be able to safely access vital enterprise data from virtually anywhere, at any time, for enterprises to remain agile and profitable.
EMM approaches that fail to consider mobile identity management run the risk of serious data breaches or regulatory compliance failures. Wherever, and however, enterprise data is accessed, every interaction must be managed and overseen. MIM software can help to fulfill this vital security need.
As you make a selection for an MIM software solution, focus on your current security needs as well as the evolution of those needs as your mobile workforce evolves. The future of enterprise network security is firmly set on a path toward an ever-increasing need for expanded mobility.