In today’s world where anything that’s not tied down can (and will) be stolen, it’s hard to know how to best protect your expensive digital assets. In fact, the FBI’s most recent crime statistics state that 70 million cell phones are stolen each year and a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds (over 90% are never recovered). This is why mobile device management, or MDM, is gaining popularity when it comes to tracking company assets (and rightfully so).
A sophisticated MDM is important for companies because not only can they manage mobile devices and implement company policies from afar, but, if an employee even thinks their mobile device is lost or stolen, geo-tracking settings can also instantly provide laptop or cellphone locations. In addition to instant device location, advanced MDM programs can also include digital map integration, real-time updates, multi-source location tracking, configurable tracking, and geofencing support. If this sounds like a foreign language, don’t worry—these features make it so you aren’t one of the 90% who will never see their device again.
Of course, there are many MDMs to choose from on the market today. Understanding what a mobile device management program should encompass, including solutions that have tracking functionality and can handle both Apple and Android devices, isn’t as overwhelming as it may seem with this quick guide on MDM location tracking.
What is MDM?
At its core, MDM is a strategic approach designed to manage and oversee mobile devices used within an organization. Whether it's smartphones, tablets, or laptops, MDM provides a centralized platform to ensure these devices meet the company's security and policy requirements.
But why the buzz around MDM? Well, as businesses increasingly rely on mobile devices to conduct operations, the need to safeguard these assets becomes non-negotiable. MDM isn't just a fancy term; it's a necessity in today's corporate landscape. The surge in its popularity isn't merely a trend; it's a response to the growing demand for solutions that can efficiently track and protect company assets. With the alarming rate of device thefts and the invaluable data they hold, MDM has swiftly transitioned from a 'nice-to-have' to an 'absolute must' for businesses aiming to stay ahead of potential threats.
Can MDM track location?
Yes, most MDM solutions can track the location and lead to the recovery of a stolen device through one of many software features. Some of these include:
- Location monitoring capability that allows enterprises to track real-time device location and maintain a continual eye on registered devices
- The ability to allow organizations to have comprehensive control over mobile assets and to take security measures in the event of a data breach
MDM programs that have tracking solutions enable businesses to manage their mobile devices from a single, centralized location. This includes access to security features, like disabling a phone or laptop remotely and knowing exactly where it is anywhere in the world.
Data security might seem like something that only IT folks need to worry about, but the loss of company data can result in thousands of hours and millions of dollars of effort in recovery and safety precaution measures. Mobile device management can help alleviate a catastrophe by triggering a simple security protocol or process.
Data security and MDM
In a world where data is often referred to as the 'new oil,' its protection has become the frontline of corporate defense. Every byte of information, from client details to internal communications, holds immense value. And in the corporate realm, where decisions are driven by data and strategies are built on insights, ensuring the sanctity of this information is paramount.
But here's the catch: with the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace, the risk landscape has expanded. Devices can be misplaced, stolen, or even hacked, leading to potential data breaches that can tarnish a company's reputation and result in significant financial losses. This is where MDM steps into the spotlight. Beyond just device management, MDM serves as a guardian of company data. With its robust suite of tools, it can detect vulnerabilities, enforce security protocols, and even remotely wipe data from devices deemed at risk. In essence, MDM acts as a digital shield, ensuring that even if devices go astray, the data within remains uncompromised. So, while the digital age presents its set of challenges, with MDM in your arsenal, data security doesn't have to be one of them.
Benefits of MDM location tracking
From medical professionals to accountants to construction foremen to athletic coaches and trainers, there’s hardly any area of the workforce that doesn’t use a tech device. In order to sleep at night, business and IT management alike want to feel secure in the knowledge that all company gadgets are safe and accounted for, especially when the cost to replace lost or stolen devices and the potential for devastating data breaches limit the effectiveness of employee productivity and convenience.
If you’ve experienced loss or theft of electronic devices in your company, it may seem easiest to just throw computers out the window and go back to paper trails. However, MDM can help you resist the urge to return to the stone ages. Here are just a few of the benefits of MDM location tracking for your company:
- It gives companies the ability to reclaim lost equipment instead of abandoning it, which will most likely cause minor but consistent cost reductions
- IT professionals can disable a device until it is reclaimed, which reduces the likelihood of criminals accessing vital company information
- Senior personnel can use location tracking as a measure to detect erratic behavior and prevent possible breaches due to lost or stolen devices
- Location tracking can also aid in the safety of lone workers by identifying those who exhibit odd mobility patterns and may need support due to an emergency
Capabilities and features of MDM
MDM location tracking solutions should not be a one-size-fits-all offering. There are companies that operate in specific locations across a region and others that have personnel at work sites around the world. There are businesses that only use Apple or Android, and, of course, those that use a combination of both. Choosing the right enterprise tracking solution that fits your specific needs can keep you one step ahead of the competition as you lower costs and secure your data.
Here are some of the capabilities and features of high-quality MDM GPS tracking packages:
- Map integration: A tracking solution for electronic devices should be integrated with a digital map platform to make it easy to find the real-world location of a tracked asset
- Real-time updates: An interrupted connection to the internet could prevent a mobile device from sending location information, which is why sophisticated device tracking tools should provide updates every few seconds or after major position changes to provide the most accurate location data available
- Multi-source location tracking: Device location information may not always be accurate or available if only one source is used to generate it, which is why a device location tracking solution should use multiple techniques to track devices, such as GPS, WiFi, and/or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
- Configurable tracking: Constantly tracking a device’s location may be unnecessary and a waste of bandwidth for some devices, which is why it should be possible to disable tracking, reduce the update frequency, and perform other customizations for each device through your MDM
- Geofencing support: Geofencing allows administrators to define a virtual boundary and take certain actions if the device crosses that established perimeter; geofencing support should be built into an MDM solution with device tracking
Installing a laptop and cell phone MDM program on your business devices is one of the best steps you can take to manage your digital assets all over the world. You can implement the protocol, avoid unnecessary monetary loss, and prevent potentially debilitating data breaches with some of the more advanced programs that contain tracking solutions too.
Every employee with a device is a potential target, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for criminals to take company property and access secure information. Having a powerful enterprise tracking system on your organization’s devices can give your data security team the tools they need to properly support employees in the case that an unplanned theft or loss happens.
When that enterprise system has a top-notch MDM tracking software package (with immense benefits and features), you can ensure your team and your tools are highly protected and supported. Remember, a sophisticated MDM includes:
- Ease of use and accurate tracking tools
- Physical and data protection
- Technology that answers all of the questions about a theft or loss event
Whether you're looking to protect a small suite of corporate devices, or manage a global enterprise of laptops and cell phones, solutions like Prey, with Apple and Android integrations, can help you control your multi-os fleet from a single platform and monitor them with labels, actions, and reports. Plus, our system helps you prevent and react with notifications, geofencing, automation, and more.