The key to maintaining school devices, whether remote or not

Jun 7, 2021

Maintaining educational continuity in any school, particularly during any form of distance learning, starts with students having access to a desktop computer or laptop. The trouble is, you can’t protect what you can’t see.

If your school is providing these devices, your IT team won’t be able to ensure they get the updates, patches, and preventative maintenance they need to remain secure and reliable. And chances are, they’re not being updated as they should by teachers or students who aren’t too concerned about device security as long as the computer just works.

It’s also not uncommon for teachers to disable some security measures, such as firewalls, to enable downloading their own software or allow access to additional sites that help them with their teaching.

Research on endpoint controls shows that:

Based on these statistics, your school needs to do whatever it takes to maintain control over all your devices. But how can you efficiently manage devices that you can’t touch, that aren’t even on your network—and, to make things more complex, that have a mix of operating systems (OSs), as most schools do?

At Lenovo, we think the solution is actually pretty simple: Absolute’s Resilience provides a persistent (always-on) and resilient (self-healing, even when tampered with) connection to most every device in your environment. With this fail-safe connection, your team has endpoint management access to all devices (even different OSs) from one management dashboard, even when devices are off the school network and IT staff is working from home.

Absolute is embedded into Lenovo best-in-class endpoint devices’ firmware to give education IT leaders a digital tether that provides an unbreakable connection between them and the device. This tether is tamper-proof and can be enabled almost immediately so you can get the most out of your devices.

The Absolute-Lenovo partnership is part of Lenovo’s commitment to providing schools with the tools they need for a seamless learning experience regardless of where students are learning and which instructional model you’re using.


Complete management in one solution

Getting management access into all your devices allows you to ensure device inventory accuracy, manage critical application updates, mitigate security threats, and freeze or reset a lost or stolen device. By tracking where each device is, what it is doing, and preventing or managing application issues for teachers and students, you have the ability to efficiently improve the learning experience.

But more than just providing access and data, you also need a solution that drives security. That means anti-virus compliance, install rate reporting—which will tell your network whether the device is safe or will introduce risk—and an endpoint data discovery scan for sensitive data.

Absolute Resilience®, part of Lenovo’s end-to-end security platform, ThinkShield, has those capabilities—and much more:

  • Scripting for pushing applications, changing device settings, and downloading critical updates
  • Application Persistence™, meaning it can’t be uninstalled, deactivated, reformatted, or damaged
  • Detailed device data reporting
  • Automatic self-healing of broken controls
  • Detailed web and device usage reports, which enable IT staff to know what students are doing online, detect inappropriate usage, and catch web filter violations

Absolute is embedded in Lenovo endpoint devices’ firmware to give education IT leaders an unbreakable digital connection with every device. This “digital tether” is tamper-proof and can be enabled with no help from the manufacturer.

Application persistence means that Absolute is always there and always-on. The console is easy to use, so you don’t have to have a security expert to manage the remote device. As a result, you won’t have to hire an IT person at the expense of a teaching position.

Addressing the new device management lifecycle

With hybrid learning models being standardized, your IT team needs to rethink the device management lifecycle now that it’s managing and securing more devices remotely. This is made more complex because your team is probably dealing with multiple device models and OSs.

So the team needs a management and security framework that goes deep and wide. A solution like Absolute, which combines the depth your IT team needs with the simplicity of a single pane to manage all devices.

The Lenovo and Absolute partnership supports schools engaged in digital transformation. By streamlining security and IT asset management in a single dynamic console, Lenovo and Absolute make it possible to protect your school’s devices, data, apps, and budget.

Learn more best practices for managing your remote devices and see how other educators are using Absolute software to ensure educational continuity in our Device Management and Security playbook, part of Lenovo’s educational continuity resources.