The boom in endpoints must be securely managed

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Many organizations now operate across a network of thousands of distributed endpoints at any one time. This has been accelerated due to hybrid working – a set up entities are finding far more costly than the traditional, in-office network paradigm they were used to.

Hybrid working has emphasized the fact that traditional security postures are no longer enough. The increased force and rise of threats such as ransomware attacks means improvements to defenses are necessary – now - to ensure businesses are protected. And in today’s borderless environments, improving cybersecurity and cyber hygiene starts at the endpoint.

About the author

Chris Vaughan is Area Vice President of Technical Account Management for EMEA at Tanium.

For IT and security teams, visibility into all devices is crucial regardless of how many they have or where they are located. Endpoint management tools provide the data and means of access organizations need to spot vulnerabilities and act on them quickly.

Incorporating cybersecurity training and management helps organizations to confidently protect their hybrid workforce. However proactive risk management must go beyond basic cyber hygiene. As October officially marks Cybersecurity Awareness Month, there has never been a better time to highlight exactly how businesses can leverage proper endpoint protection to save money and enhance resilience.

Under-managed assets

Due to under-managed assets, we found that UK organizations are missing out on an average of £338,163 in endpoint related savings in just one year. The network environment is expanding for organizations of all sizes, with endpoints becoming more diverse – now spanning from smartphones to cloud services. As a result, organizations are faced with remote, virtual, and “bring your own device” (BYoD) assets and software — some approved by IT teams, some not.

Endpoints that are poorly managed are more vulnerable to cyber threats and cause more incidents, making them more expensive to support. Organizations therefore need to be able to find and control all hardware and software assets instantaneously, maintaining a real-time, comprehensive inventory. From there, they can monitor and optimize software needs to reduce unnecessary spending.

Improve control and visibility to generate savings

Investing in proper endpoint management allows weak points in IT infrastructure to be identified and swiftly remediated. However, this visibility is often delivered by multiple, ineffective tools, meaning many organizations have an additional opportunity to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Every IT leader must be willing to reduce, simplify, and rationalize all platforms, applications, processes, services, and infrastructure which they govern. When it comes to endpoint management, this should involve eliminating legacy solutions and reducing unnecessary point tools - and the infrastructure required to support them.

Once full endpoint visibility is in place through a single console, UK businesses can save an average of £174,854 and £268,026 after two and three years respectively, according to our recent research. Companies failing to implement comprehensive endpoint management technology therefore risk losing out on significant cost savings.

By rallying IT teams around instant, accurate, and actionable data, organizations can maximize efficiency, minimize risk, and take control – whilst generating savings in the process.

Patch management and threat detection

Through the use of a unified platform, organizations can benefit from endpoint management, threat detection and security in one console – and multiply potential savings over time. This incremental rising value of savings is attributable to improved efficiency, along with the insight gained.

A key element to this efficiency is patch management – used to ensure security defenses are up to date and appropriately configured, allowing applications, operating systems, and embedded systems to be fixed if there are vulnerabilities. Good patch management allows organizations to quickly identify and rectify weaknesses, raising the barrier to entry for malicious actors.

Legacy endpoint solutions can detect known bad activity within contained networks. But a modern solution must include threat response tools that provide visibility, investigation, and remediation capabilities on a company’s endpoints — wherever they reside.

These tools should be capable of endpoint scanning that leverages in-house-developed and subscription-based intel, as well as the execution of a comprehensive remediation strategy should a breach be suffered. IT teams should be able to use their endpoint solution to deep dive into issues across individual systems, and act across multiple endpoints simultaneously.

A best-in-class threat response tool should provide administrators with visibility into malicious behaviors when an attacker is smart enough to evade detection. Skilled cyber attackers can often remain invisible, but organizations can protect against future threats by learning retrospectively about what they did after gaining access.

Encourage basic cyber hygiene

Protecting an organization from the impact of an attack also involves filling the gaps in basic cyber hygiene. As well as ensuring security defenses are up to date and consistently configured, IT teams need to ensure employees are driven towards best practices. Solid endpoint management can help identify dangerous behavior.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you can’t protect what you can’t see. For organizations to operate safely under the new hybrid working model while securing their IT infrastructure, they need clear visibility into all devices connected to their networks. Not only can this clarity lead to large financial savings across several IT areas, but it also provides a level of certainty that will give organizations increased peace of mind about the resilience of their IT estates.

Chris Vaughan is Area Vice President of Technical Account Management for EMEA at Tanium.