microsoft intune

Microsoft Intune: What is it And How Does It Work?

With more mobile devices and remote work, businesses need robust management solutions to ensure productivity and security. Effective device management tools simplify these tasks, helping IT departments control endpoints and protect sensitive information.

What is Microsoft Intune?

Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based service for enterprise mobility management (EMM). It helps your workforce stay productive while protecting corporate data. Part of the Microsoft 365 suite, Intune integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products. It provides mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) capabilities, letting you control how devices and apps are used in your organisation.

Fun Fact: Intune began as a cloud-based service in 2011 and has grown into a robust tool for unified endpoint management (UEM).

Intune allows you to manage devices flexibly to suit your organisational needs. It supports laptops, smartphones, and tablets on Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS platforms. Whether your team works from the office, remotely, or on the go, Intune offers a consistent management experience. You can set rules and configure settings on personal and organization-owned devices to access data and networks. Intune integrates with Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) for identity and access management and Azure Information Protection for data protection.

Microsoft Intune Key Features

Manage users and devices

Intune allows you to manage both organisational and end-user devices. It supports Android, AOSP, iOS/iPadOS, Linux Ubuntu Desktop, macOS, and Windows client devices. With Intune, you can create policies to ensure secure access to your organisation’s resources.

Simplify app management

Intune has a built-in app experience, including app deployment, updates, and removal. You can:

  • Connect to and distribute apps from your private app stores.
  • Enable Microsoft 365 apps, including Microsoft Teams.
  • Deploy Win32 and line-of-business (LOB) apps.
  • Create app protection policies that protect data within an app.
  • Manage access to apps & their data.

Automate policy deployment

You can create policies for apps, security, device configuration, compliance, and conditional access. Once ready, deploy these policies to your user groups and device groups. Devices only need internet access to receive the policies.

Use the self-service features

Employees and students can use the Company Portal app and website to reset a PIN/password, install apps, join groups, and more. You can customise the Company Portal to help reduce support calls.

Integrate with mobile threat defence

Intune works with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and third-party services. These services focus on endpoint security. You can create policies to respond to threats, perform real-time risk analysis, and automate remediation.

Use a web-based admin centre

The Intune admin centre is dedicated to endpoint management and data-driven reporting. Admins can log in from any device with internet access. The admin center uses Microsoft Graph REST APIs to access the Intune service programmatically. Every action in the admin centre is a Microsoft Graph call.

Advanced endpoint management and security

The Microsoft Intune Suite offers features like Remote Help, Endpoint Privilege Management, Microsoft Tunnel for MAM, and more.

Use Microsoft Copilot in Intune for AI-generated analysis.

Copilot in Intune is now available and is powered by Copilot for Security. Copilot summarizes policies, provides detailed setting information with recommendations and potential conflicts. It also offers device details and troubleshooting options.

How Does Microsoft Intune Work?

Intune helps businesses manage and secure mobile devices and apps. Understanding the tool is key to balancing security and user experience. IT teams use five main components to harness Intune’s power.

Enrollment

Intune offers several ways to enrol devices. Depending on the business needs, devices can be enrolled via an enrollment URL, Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP), or Google’s Android Enterprise. These options ensure flexibility in integrating the service into different org setups.

Policies and configuration

After enrolling devices, administrators can set policies and settings to manage them. They can enforce security measures like PIN codes or mandate certain apps to be installed. This ensures all devices meet the organisation’s security standards and operational needs.

App management

Intune lets administrators manage applications on devices. They can deploy, update, or remove apps remotely and set app-level policies like data-sharing restrictions. The new Microsoft Store Apps Intune integration offers a streamlined app management experience, simplifying application lifecycle management.

Conditional access

With Intune, administrators can create rules to control access to company resources. These rules check device compliance, user location, and network connection. They ensure that only secure devices can access sensitive data, improving the organisation’s security.

Reporting and analytics

Intune offers administrators reporting and analytics tools. They can monitor device and app usage and spot potential security risks. These insights help keep the environment secure and improve management processes.

Cloud-based platform

Benefits of Microsoft Intune Suite

Intune is a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management tools. It offers benefits beyond application management, conditional access, reporting, and analytics.

Cloud-based

Intune is a cloud-based service management platform that eliminates the need for on-premises infrastructure or hardware. This makes deployment and management easy, and groups can also scale as needed.

Multi-platform support

Intune works with Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS, allowing groups to manage all their devices from one platform.

Security and compliance

Intune offers security and compliance features like device encryption, data protection policies, and remote wipe capabilities. These tools help businesses secure their data and comply with industry regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA.

Integrates with other Microsoft services and apps

Microsoft Intune integrates with other Microsoft products and services that focus on endpoint management, including:

  • Configuration Manager
  • Endpoint analytics
  • Windows Autopilot
  • Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
  • Windows Autopatch

Integrates with third-party partner devices and apps

The Intune admin centre makes it easy to connect to different partner service

  • Managed Google Play for Android apps
  • Apple tokens and certificates for enrollment and apps
  • TeamViewer for remote assist

Challenges of Microsoft Intune

Complexity of operations

Intune started as a tool for managing mobile devices and has expanded to support more device types and services. If an admin lacks experience with Intune, deployment and management can be challenging. Managing configurations, policies, and updates for many devices can be time-consuming and requires planning. It’s essential to plan your operations carefully and carefully automate them as much as possible. Intune’s unified console simplifies device management and reduces complexity.

RBAC model

Intune uses an RBAC model to assign permissions based on roles and responsibilities. This model is based on Azure AD and lets you create custom roles for users and groups. With Intune RBAC, you control access to features like device management, app management, and compliance policies. Create custom roles and assign them to relevant Azure AD groups to ensure admins can access only what they need.

Console complexity

The Intune console can be complex and intimidating for new admins. Many features may go unused, making it seem more complicated. This complexity can be managed with careful planning, training, and support. Effective RBAC role management helps users see only what they need, simplifying the console.

Conflicting assignments

Intune can deploy software, configure devices, and protect data. With many settings to configure, large environments risk conflicting assignments between devices and users. Managing these conflicts requires careful monitoring and adjustments to ensure smooth operations.

How Can Microsoft Intune Help Your Business?

With Intune, you can protect data on managed (enrolled) and unmanaged (not enrolled) devices. Intune separates organisation data from personal data. This ensures your company information stays secure through the policies you set up and deploy. Sensitive data remains safe whether employees use corporate-owned or personal devices.

This approach allows organisations to control their information without sacrificing employee privacy or convenience. This flexibility is essential in today’s mobile work environments. Full implementation is expected by May 21, 2024.

FAQs

What is the difference between Microsoft Azure and Intune?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform offering many services, such as computing power, storage, networking, and data analytics. These services help businesses manage and deploy applications globally. Azure provides the infrastructure and tools to create, test, and deploy applications in cloud and on-premises environments.

Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based service for mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM). Intune helps organisations manage employee devices, enforce security policies, and protect corporate data across devices and applications. While Azure covers broader cloud computing and application deployment, Intune focuses on securing and managing mobile and endpoint devices within a company.

Can Microsoft Intune manage all types of devices?

Yes, Microsoft Intune can manage many types of devices. This includes operating systems like Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS. Intune works with corporate-owned and personal devices, whether enrolled or not.

It allows you to implement security policies, manage applications, and protect data across different device environments. This ensures a complete approach to device management, meeting the needs of various user scenarios while maintaining strict security standards.

What kind of support is available for Microsoft Intune users?

Microsoft provides extensive support options for Intune users. Support is available through online documentation, community forums, and direct contact with Microsoft support services. The Microsoft Learn platform offers guides and tutorials to help users understand and use Intune features. The Microsoft Tech Community is a valuable resource where users can ask questions, share knowledge, and find solutions to common issues.

For personalised help, users can submit support requests through the Intune admin centre. Dedicated support agents are available to assist with specific problems and complex configurations. This support system ensures users have the resources to use Microsoft Intune.

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