How quickly (and confidently) can you remediate a zero-day across your entire organization?
Can you list all of your organization’s devices and the software they’re running?
What percent of your devices are compliant with corporate configuration policies?
These are the questions over which IT administrators lose sleep. And, unfortunately, events like Log4J only confirm what most of us already know: We have a massive visibility issue in the IT and security world.
Without knowing how many endpoints you have and what software they run, you’re driving in the dark without headlights. Sure, you might configure or patch some endpoints correctly. But you are still likely battling gaps that could make you vulnerable to attack, or non-compliant with standards like HIPAA, SOX, etc. This brings us to endpoint management.
What is Endpoint Management?
Endpoint management is a somewhat ubiquitous term. Plus, it’s often associated with far too many acronyms: MDM, EMM, MIM, MAM, and UEM (to name a few). To truly define endpoint management, let’s first define an endpoint.
In today’s world, an endpoint is any device that connects to your corporate network or accesses corporate resources and data. This could be any of the following, including non-corporate-owned-devices, often dubbed bring-your-own-device (or BYOD):
- Servers (Linux, Windows, etc.)
- Desktops and laptops (Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Linux, etc.)
- Tablets (iPadOS, etc.)
- Phones (Android, iOS, etc.)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Networking appliances (switches, firewalls, etc.)
- Point of Sale devices (PoS)
That’s a lot to keep track of, which is where endpoint management tools come in. Ultimately, your endpoint management tool should discover, enroll, provision, deploy, update, and configure all endpoints and their software. In addition, it should provide you with a comprehensive endpoint and software inventory.
Ideally, it does all of this from one central place, automatically, so you can effectively manage and defend your enterprise.
Why is Endpoint Management Important?
There are several reasons we all care about endpoint management. The most important is risk reduction. With an effective endpoint management solution, you gain visibility, control, and speed. With continuous visibility into your IT environment, you can remediate any vulnerability thrown your way – and do so lightning-fast. Today’s threat actors are too quick and too sophisticated for organizations to accept anything less.
As soon as a proof of concept exploit is available, you can bet someone is scanning for it. So, the race is on to find and remediate the issue before it’s discovered and exploited. That’s why speed is of the essence.
In addition to reducing your threat exposure, an endpoint management solution can help you properly configure your assets to meet federal, state, and organizational compliance requirements. Proper asset configuration is not particularly flashy, but it is vital (and at times legally mandated). It also enhances your security posture to reduce the likelihood and impact of a breach.
Don’t just take our word for it. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) lists inventory and control of enterprise and software assets (as well as the secure configuration of those assets) as part of Implementation Group 1 (IG1). IG1 contains the security controls that every enterprise should apply to reduce risk for the most common attacks. By using an endpoint management solution to streamline your compliance efforts, your team can focus on more strategic initiatives instead of worrying about exposure or preparing for an audit.
Reducing risk is critical, especially for executives and your cyber insurance vendor. At the end of the day, however, employees are the ones who produce the results for a company. Another huge benefit to a good endpoint management solution is that it enables IT to power workforce productivity, giving end-users a seamless onboarding experience and making sure they have access to the data and applications they need, when they need them.
The benefits abound. If you’re able to properly configure and patch your endpoints, you greatly reduce your likelihood of falling victim to an attack or being penalized for non-compliance. And if you can automate provisioning and configuration, you’re able to focus on strategic initiatives instead of repetitive manual tasks. All that, and you enable your employees to work without disruption. It’s a win-win-win.
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About Automox for IT Operations
Today’s IT leaders deserve better than tedious legacy tools to manage their infrastructure. From our single cloud-native platform, automate and scale your IT operations to meet the growing business demands of the modern workforce. With complete visibility of your entire environment, you can easily monitor, identify, and respond to issues in real-time across any endpoint, regardless of OS or location.
Demo Automox to see how you can immediately gain effortless command of your endpoints.