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MDM Spotlight Nº4: Closing the MDM Timeline with Mass Actions

by Nicolas Poggi 19, Jul, 2017

MassActions_blog.pngFinally! Two spotlights and a bonus track later, we reach the present day. Get ready for the upcoming crowning MDM feature: Mass Actions

Ladies and gentleman... the circle is complete! With Mass Actions, Prey's Dev Team will reach the final milestone in the Mobile Device Management (MDM) timeline, achieving our goal of making Prey's robust security large scale friendly. 

The cornerstone of this MDM timeline is living its last days as a closed Beta tool, and in the next weeks you will see Mass Action's complete and public launch. Sit down, young grasshoper, you'll now learn everything about this feature.

Making a strong foundation was the first step, but there's room to grow in MDM. Our team is eager to tackle on the upcoming challenges that security and management face in our present hyper-connected world.

The MDM Timeline

When we say a circle is complete, we don't mean it's the end of an era. Not at all! We're talking more specifically about how these features work together to tackle theft, and loss in environments with way too many devices.

Control Zones (Problem awareness).

Automatizing monitoring was mandatory for Anti-Theft MDM, it frees up resources and ensures no strange event goes unnoticed. But at the same time we found in geofencing a solution that suits all of our user base, from families to institutions. Why? Because a great offense is the best defense, and quick reactions pay off. 

Advanced Search & Labeling (Accessibility)

Our interface shifted to suit and organize large amounts of devices, keeping everything neatly organized and accessible. Prey's panel changed to provide an efficient way of applying our service on hundreds of laptops, tablets, and phones. While at the same time, our users gained an organization and management tool.

File Retrieval (Data Control). 

The bonus treat. Data loss is a pain that strikes hard, and our Wipe & Lock features already worked on countering it. But we had the chance to extend our reach with our File Retrieval solution, thought for specific file recovery. Doing a distant backup without control over the network stability isn't viable, so instead we focused on helping our users recover individual crucial files.

Mass Actions (Reaction) 

Prey's adaptation to a Mobile Device Management format. Now, Prey's actions (Lock, Alarm, Wipe, Alert) can be easily deployed on up to a 100 devices at a time. This closes the anti-theft circle of action: Problem Awareness, Accessibility, Data Control, and finally, Reaction.

Creating Mass Actions

 
 
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I know, I know! It's been four chapters already, let's get to it... This new feature was integrated to the Devices tab in Prey's Web panel. You will create a new one using the button there, or entering the Mass Actions tab, which serves as an archive for the ones you already executed.

Now, we're talking about up to 100 devices at the same time. So give it some thought, and try to avoid wiping your whole office's computers, or blasting a siren alarm on fifty computers at your campus during class hours.

Don't worry, the action won't launch immediately, first you program it and add the devices. Then you launch.

Ready? Buckle up, pick up the action from the ones available (Lock, Wipe, Alarm, Message Alert) and configure the action's specifics. In the case of the Alarm, you will be able to pick the sound from a drop down list. 

Give it a name and a description to help other users identify its purpose, and you'll get to your New Mass Action screen.

Adding Devices

 
 
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Time to add devices. Heard of Advanced Search & Labeling? Well, it will be your best friend when looking for the right phones, laptops, and tablets.Filter devices by labels, device attributes, or search freely on the list until you've marked and added the ones that are going to perform the action.

You can leave the New Mass Action on hold and come back to it later through the Mass Actions tab, and add more devices if you haven't ran it yet. To delete devices from the list, simply mark them and click Remove Selected. 

It's Go Time

 
 
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Everything's setup? Sure? Double-checked and everything? Then what are you waiting for, click the Start button! You will see how each devices goes through different statuses as it requests the action, performs it, and ends it.

If any conflict or incompatibility occurs, it will be displayed. You can also check each device's Log to monitor the process, and the Action's Log to revise the Mass Action's activity record.

Easy as that! As I said before, you will be able to access the feature's tab to check on any previous Mass Action, take a look at the details or its logs. A Mass Action can only be edited when pending, never after its execution.

Mass Actions & Theft

Countering theft/loss and recovering devices are our top priorities. Whether it's a single phone, or 50 computers taken from an office, Mass Actions arrives to ensure that any institution can rely on our platform to have an efficient offense when avoiding asset & data loss.

While our Missing Reports take care of gathering crucial evidence, the device manager can launch his counter-offensive on lost phones, laptops, and tablets with a Mass Lock; contact the perpetrator with an Alert; expose all devices with an Alarm; or Wipe the data to avoid leaks. 

Mass Actions & Management 

It doesn't end there for this feature, as it's flexibility provides device managers a nifty management tool. After all, it's a Mobile Device Management package! Behind each action, there's another set of paths other than fighting theft.

Alarm: Other than a good scare and easy localization in cluttered rooms, an alarm catches your attention. If Greg left the building with an office's tablet, blast a siren and send an alert to give him a chance of realizing his mistake.

Alert: Need to spread a quick message regarding the device's use? Make a Mass Alert and, for example, remember a class they need to return the library's tablets by 7 pm.

Lock: Put a curfew on your institution's devices, and avoid any unauthorized after-hour use. And if someone's been making bad use, restrict access until the situation is addressed. 

Wipe: When a group of laptops serve dozens of users a day, Mass Wipes come in handy to make sure no personal information is left behind for anyone else to see. Safeguard your user's privacy as well.


C'est fini!

This concludes our MDM Spotlight series, covering our Mobile Device Management package from its beginning with Control Zones, to the upcoming release: Mass Actions. Want to give it a go? Request a Free Trial below!

Meanwhile, we'll keep working hard to bring you updates as we find new horizons for this anti-theft app, always looking to provide a multiple-first security solution: Multiple users, multiple devices, multiple needs.

Sign up for a Free Business Trial and test Prey's upcoming  features in your institution.

Nicolas Poggi
Nicolas Poggi

Content Manager at Prey with a degree in Journalism at TEA&DEPORTEA. Career in creative writing, plus cultural and technological online outlets. Tech Savvy in the making.

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