Endpoint Management: What It is and Why it Matters
The Critical Role Endpoint Management Plays in Security
The average number of connected devices used in a federal agency or enterprise is growing rapidly thanks to BYOD and mobility, and the array isn’t limited to physical devices—there’s a multitude of operating systems, as well. Further, the daily use of disparate applications has become the norm.
- 60% of employees would prefer to use a personal device for work and play.
- The adoption rate of BYOD among enterprises is 69.2%.
- The market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least 5x faster than IT organizations can deliver them.
Clearly, it’s an overwhelming number of devices, which equates to an overwhelming amount of endpoints: laptops, servers, desktops, tablets, and mobile phones all qualify. The more endpoints on a network, the harder they are to manage, and the greater the risk exposure to security vulnerabilities, which is what makes endpoint management so important.
Endpoint management is the ability to centrally discover, provision, deploy, update, and troubleshoot endpoint devices within an organization. Effectively managing endpoints consists of keeping track of software and OS versions and ensuring that you’re up-to-date to minimize attack vectors; more vulnerabilities can be exploited if you’re not. It’s also critical to patch regularly.
Making the Move: Security and Endpoint Management—Why and When?
Let’s sum up the more in-depth reasons why endpoint management is critical for maintaining a healthy security posture:
- Device sprawl: for the IT and security teams, a device sprawl totaling up to thousands of different devices which require support is a huge undertaking. The types and numbers of devices and applications, figuring out which devices are on the network at all, and staying current with upgrades and patching is extremely complicated, and risky, in the absence of a proper endpoint management solution.
- Security vulnerabilities: without knowing what devices are connected to your network, there’s no real way to evaluate risk exposure.
- Knowing your environment and maintaining a baseline: it is critical to establish a standard baseline for adding devices to your network; otherwise, personnel may inadvertently add endpoints without going through the proper channel, which makes it hard to know what’s in your environment. This makes it less likely that endpoints are being managed, which creates an easy pivot point for a malicious actor—it only takes one machine to get in.
- Stringent requirements within the federal space: within the government or in federal space, there are stricter requirements for what can be added to a network, and if endpoints aren’t being maintained, vulnerability increases, which makes it hard to adhere to compliance mandates.
At August Schell, we believe that endpoint management is a need-to-have, not a nice-to-have. We don’t recommend going much longer without implementing it if you haven’t already. Here are some of the change events we’ve seen customers experience before making the move:
- A security breach occurred
- Compliance is becoming difficult without knowing the activities of the network
- The security team is struggling with management and wants to evaluate solutions
August Schell Can Help With Security and Managing Endpoints
Endpoint management involves a number of security activities combined to effectively protect your organization. Here are a few of the solutions we recommend at August Schell:
- Splunk can be used for compliance reports.
- Carbon Black, is an effective antivirus solution with built-in machine learning for identifying different threats. It is also great for firewalls.
- Tanium is an excellent patching product; it gives businesses and government organizations the ability to secure, control, and manage millions of endpoints within seconds.
All of these products seamlessly tie into your Splunk instance to provide faster response, stronger security integration, and triggered automation. Your security team will be armed with the ability to sandbox a host in real time when malicious behavior is spotted.
At August Schell, we regularly partner with federal and commercial organizations to implement effective endpoint management solutions. We also offer support for integrating your configuration management system (CMS) of choice into Splunk, whether it’s Salt, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, etc. We know how overwhelming staying on top of disparate applications and devices can be. If your security team would like to explore how we can help you identify the endpoint management solution that meets your needs, reach out to an August Schell specialist, or call us at (301)-838-9470.