Absolute Software released enhanced geolocation capabilities, enabling enterprise and education organizations to strengthen device and data protections in today’s work and learn-from-anywhere environments, and balance the need for increased security with end user privacy.
With users and devices more mobile and distributed than ever before, these enhancements empower IT and security teams to quickly view the locations of their distributed endpoints, even when those endpoints are not GPS-enabled; identify potentially risky or out-of-policy device movement; and take swift action to ensure devices and data remain secure and compliant with organizational and regulatory requirements.
With most businesses planning to adopt some form of remote work for the long term, there is a clear and urgent need to move away from perimeter-based security approaches to those that focus on zero trust and prioritize securing endpoint devices as well as the sensitive data residing on those devices. A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting Inc. found that firms are evolving their security priorities to align with the realities of remote and hybrid work policies; more than half of respondents said they are specifically focused on automating both the protection of sensitive or at-risk data (60%) and the geolocation of devices (52%) in the next year.
Similarly, the ‘learn-from-anywhere’ dynamic has underscored the critical need in education for visibility and control over student and staff devices, especially when off the school network. Findings from the recently released 2021-22 Absolute Endpoint Risk Report: Education Edition show that 47% of K-12 devices in spring 2021 were located more than 25 miles from their school or district, with 21% of devices registering more than 500 miles away. With funding audits on the horizon, it is vital for education IT teams to be able to track the status and location of all devices; take action to lock, wipe, or reclaim them, if needed; and report stolen or unreturned devices to local authorities.
“With a large population of devices likely to remain outside of corporate and school networks for the long term, and the significant amount of sensitive data being stored on those devices, it is more important than ever that IT and security teams have the ability to find, manage, and remediate devices remotely and in real time,” said Christy Wyatt, President and CEO at Absolute. “These enhanced geolocation capabilities were developed to meet the critical need for solutions that can keep devices, data, and users secure while also ensuring end user privacy remains protected and top of mind.”
Anchored by its firmware-embedded, patented Persistence capabilities residing in more than 500 million endpoints, Absolute enables customers with a permanent connection to all devices – capable of delivering continuous visibility, control, and intelligence across devices, data, applications, and network connections. With new and enhanced geolocation capabilities, Absolute customers can better manage and secure their company and school-owned devices. Benefits and use cases include:
- Gain complete visibility of distributed device fleets: Visually locate endpoints through interactive map and satellite views to ensure adherence with organizational policies.
- Balance security and end user privacy: Implement Absolute user permission restrictions based on location levels to ensure secure visibility into macro level device locations without compromising end user privacy – allowing only privileged admins the ability to accurately locate a specific device when necessary.
- Leverage historical insights to pinpoint risks: View historical device location records to identify suspicious movement, to help with the recovery of a lost or stolen device, or for routine security audits.
- Identify unauthorized device movement: Define “approved” or “unapproved” geographical areas (also known as geofences), and instantly be alerted to unauthorized device movement to ensure swift action is taken.
All Absolute commercial customers have access to geolocation capabilities through the company’s latest platform update. Some features, such as location-based rules and alerting, may only be available to customers using the Absolute Control or Absolute Resilience service tiers.