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Five critical endpoint security issues addressed by Enterprise Technology Management

Endpoint security is and will continue to be front and center in the scheme of things that keep your IT staff awake at night. This is a subset of drivers that are affecting the entirety of the IT ecosystem, which includes variables such as accelerated movement to the cloud, expansion of IoT, a significant (and permanent) change in the way people work, and an increase in attacks because the potential target has become much more accessible. While there are a myriad of issues that can be addressed at multiple levels, these are the five issues that seem to be gaining the most attention, the most consistently.

Visibility  Do you know with complete certainty the location, ownership, and AV status of every device on your network? This is not just a security thing, this is also a compliance thing. While the security risk associated with lack of visibility can lead to data breaches, public face plants and a loss of faith from hard-won customers, the compliance risk carries a hefty (seven or eight figure) fine. And just to make it extra fun, these two elements are effectively flip sides of the same coin. Knowing who has what where is non-optional; this is a complex dynamic, but with an enterprise technology management (ETM) framework that provides contextualised visibility across your entire IT infrastructure, you can stay comfortably on top of a constantly shifting IT ecosystem and avoid surprises.  

Mobile Devices  The more convenient the technology, the greater the potential security risk associated with it, and nothing is more convenient than a mobile phone. There are multiple vendors (Jamf, Kandji, InTune) who provide both MDM (mobile device management) and MAM (mobile applications management) capabilities, which when combined with a comprehensive ETM solution provide context that not only identifies the device and it’s associated apps on your network, but can track lifecycle status for renewals, refreshes, updates, and end-of-life disposition. This not only addresses security and compliance requirements, it also keeps your employees at the optimal point of technology usage. 

Expanded attack surface  Compared to pre-pandemic usage, most mobile devices are now free-range and accessing your corporate network from (probably) less secure locations (e.g. home wifi). The current technology usage scenario (hybrid IT), is new and still not locked in. This is a hacker's dream, which is why attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication. Security disciplines like CAASM (Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management) are starting to gain traction, and are a perfect complement to enterprise technology management. 

Applications management  While there is a lot of emphasis on device security, the truth is no one actually cares about the device, they care about the data on the device (GDPR and CCPA regulations are a good example). Managing software can be significantly more challenging than managing what it runs on, particularly as more applications become cloud-centric and both applications and virtual machines can be spun up or down with the click of a mouse. SAM and CSB solutions are a useful panacea to control sprawl, but they need to be contextualized to the device used for access, and the user controlling the device. Integrating SAM, HAM and CSB solutions provides a consistent management framework for the applications that run on top of them, and are a critical deliverable address by enterprise technology management.

Inconsistent application of best practices  Technology hygiene is more important than ever, and your CISO most definitely has their job cut out for them. It is critical that employees follow best practices associated with frameworks such as SOC-2 and CCPA. It is slightly tedious and inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as an eight figure fine. Train your folks on security and compliance requirements (and not just new hires); this is something that everyone needs to be pounded on repeatedly and permanently. Updated security and compliance training once per quarter should be the minimum standard. Your employees will hate it, your CISO will love it. Keep your CISO happy. 

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