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MDM Spotlight Nº1: Control Zones, the first step to this Summer’s Release.

Controlzones_blog (1).pngSummer comes with a great release! Say hello to the upcoming Mobile Device Management (MDM) package.

With the arrival of our new Mass Actions feature at the end of this month, we’re happy to say we’ll reach an important milestone: our core MDM feature timeline will be complete!

It’s a road our developers started ridin’ a year ago, working on better solutions for mass deployments. Step by step, each new feature released: Control ZonesAdvanced Search & Labeling, File Retrieval, and today, Mass Actions

What’s the fuzz all about?

As Prey grew among businesses, our tools did too to cover the new needs and pains that came from protecting hundreds, if not thousands, of devices at the same time. It was a matter of focusing on four key points:

  • Taking device and data anti-theft to a large scale format.
  • Adding a geofencing solution to improve monitoring and reaction time.
  • Giving businesses more control with extra management functions.
  • Having on a better defense, with a tougher offense!

These tips guided us through each release, as our team thought not on each individual feature but on a whole package that works, as Jack Johnson says, better together. 

That’s why we are a little too excited! Mass Actions joins everything together and we can finally say… It’s aliveeeeeeeeeeeeee! 

But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and let’s begin with our MDM Spotlight Nº1! We’re gonna run through each feature in the timeline so you get to know what they do best, and how they work together as anti-theft and management tools.

First Stop: Control Zones 

Our geofencing solution! Geofencing is a technology that uses geolocation to create boundaries that react when crossed by active devices. In our case, the phones, laptops, and tablets we protect.

So… What do Control Zones do? They are basically virtual “fences”, circular areas you draw on our map to identify a space like the IT’s office, or your campus.  You then assign the devices that interact with that zone, and whenever Prey detects they enter or leave the area you will receive an alert.

Timing and precision are crucial, that’s why we use both GPS and network signals when retrieving a device’s location.

Easy Setup

There’s no strange mumbo jumbo behind Control Zones. Log into your Account’s Panel, enter the tab on the left sidebar, click on the + button to create a new area.

Place it where needed, pick a size and name it. Configure the notifications and use the search bar to assign the devices you want to keep in line. Aaaaaand presto! Your virtual fence, or guard dog, is up and ready to bark at any suspicious activity. 

An Efficient Guard Dog

Control Zones, and geofencing as a technology, have many applications. But we’ve seen a great two-step benefit from this technology when fighting theft, and tracking multiple mobile devices.

First, acknowledge. Control Zones give you passive monitoring. Not only it automatizes the tracking process and lets your IT crew focus on something else, it also means whenever something happens to one of those hundreds of devices, you will know, instantly

Then, payback time! Catching a thief is easier if, for example, he hasn’t left campus yet. Since the device manager will get a quick heads-up, he will be able to mark the specific devices as missing and launch Mass Actions (like lock or wipe) as soon as they move from their designated area.

Creative Management

But hey! Remember our four bullet points? It’s not all about theft, we want to give managers an extra hand when dealing with more phones, laptops, and tablets they can keep their eyes on. And when it comes to daily usage, you can get pretty creative with Control Zones.

At the Office: Some computers shouldn’t leave the office at all. If someone doesn’t quite get it, you’ll know what laptop to lock remotely before they connect to an unsecured network. 

At College: Need to lend some tablets to a large group of students? Receive alerts when they are returned and keep track on those who haven’t yet.

In logistics: As easy as setting up Control Zones for a mobile that does recurrent routes, an easy way to check that the usual schedule is on time.

We took the first step into our MDM package with Control Zones, a necessary beginning to make way for the features that came after and paved the way for the cherry on top that comes this July: Mass Actions.

Next stop, read the MDM Spotlight Nº2: Advanced Search & Labeling!

About the author

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation. Nic is a technology and contemporary culture journalist and author, and before joining Prey held positions as head of indie coverage at TheGameFanatics, and as FM radio host and interviewer at IndieAir.