Decluttering the Endpoint Management

22-Dec-2018 11:52 AM

Posted by Prashanth G J, CEO, Technobind

Employee experience Vs corporate data protection was a tricky, time-consuming debate when BYOD emerged as a concept. Over the years, many CISOs and CIOs have woken up to the fact that ‘restriction’ is a futile exercise. They instead worked on ensuring security, while also giving their employees the freedom to choose.

But the BYOD conundrum is still a reality with close to 40 percent organizations not adopting a formal BYOD policy. This simply means that the number of mobile devices that access the corporate networks keeps growing and a lot of organizations are not doing much to secure or manage this huge populace of devices.

BYOD is however just one side of the endpoint management story. The proliferation of IoT devices is making endpoint management a literal nightmare for organizations. A critical 46 percent of IT executives report to experiencing security incidents related to attacks on IoT devices, says IDC. This even includes those network-connected devices we have at our homes.

In the near future, we shouldn’t be surprised if an employee’s refrigerator launches coordinated attacks on a corporate network!

Cyber security isn’t the only problem either. How do organizations effectively provision, manage and service all of these network-connected devices? That’s why an increasing number of organizations are putting the spotlight back on ‘endpoint management’.

Too many devices, too many tools…

Excess of network-connected devices led to excess of tools to manage those devices! According to a SANS report, 83 percent of organizations use between three and nine different endpoint management tools just to find and patch vulnerabilities on endpoints. The major reason for this is the heterogeneous nature of the endpoints in our environments. They run multiple operating systems and are spread across geographies.

Ensuring that these endpoints meet the compliance and regulatory requirements is another critical challenge.

Even those organizations, that have been effectively cutting down the number of tools, still have to maintain a minimum of three different management consoles-- one for desktops and laptops, another for mobile devices, and yet another for printers, projectors, personally owned BYO devices, gateways and IoT devices.

With too many tools to manage the endpoints, organizations often struggle with cost and complexity. Apart from the cost of purchasing, deploying and managing these disparate tools, one has to master the art of managing so many vendor relationships to survive!

The associated infrastructure too brings in huge operational expenses. The results however don’t justify the kind of money, time and resource being spent on endpoint management.

Still not good enough

Even with all the tools, organization still struggle with inadequate visibility to their endpoint landscape. A significantly large number of security professionals admit to not having complete insights or visibility about the devices connected to their network. This even includes the corporate owned devices!

Besides, endpoint management is still largely driven by manual process, thanks to the siloed nature of these point tools. I can’t stress enough the importance of automation in endpoint management at this stage!

Organizations are also challenged with inefficient compliance enforcement on the endpoints due to lack of integration among these tools. As the number of tools increased, IT teams also struggled with lack of ability to respond in a timely and agile manner.

One tool, multiple benefits

Imagine managing and controlling all the corporate assets from a single console! That’s exactly what Unified endpoint management promises. UEM is fast becoming a preferred option for organizations that have been grappling with endpoint management woes. It provides a holistic view of all the connected devices on the network, while automating manual tasks that were consuming a lot of resources and time.

The biggest advantage organizations see here is better data/device security and improved compliance enforcement. Not just that, organizations will finally be able to create a consistent user experience across device types, simplify the overall endpoint management and have better control over the assets.

We have had first hand experience of this shift in the market, with many of our customers already kick-starting new projects on unified endpoint management.

More and more devices will continue to get connected to the networks, and it’s important that the endpoint management solution you choose can be scaled seamlessly to address the future requirements. Thankfully, we have solutions that are future-ready!