If you had tunnel vision – the loss of peripheral vision that leads to a restricted field of view – you could sit inside the tunnel in this photo all day enjoying the lovely blue sky.
You’d miss a few things, of course, like the gila monster creeping toward your leg from the left or the paranoid gold miner with a club lurking on your right. You might even forget to leave yourself an out in case a locomotive came at you from one side or the other.
So if you thought of the blue spot as your endpoint management initiative and the dark area as your overall network security picture, where would that leave you? You’d be thinking that your endpoint management was going swimmingly when in fact your bigger network security landscape was in trouble.
Steps to Eliminate Tunnel Vision
The more hectic and heterogeneous your IT environment becomes, the more likely you are to develop tunnel vision. It’s the undesirable result of having your IT assets – tablets, smartphones, bring your own device (BYOD), internet of things (IoT), wearables and other devices – in different silos, without a centralized endpoint management system in place.
Here are five steps you can take toward eliminating tunnel vision in your IT environment:
- Cut across the silos in your organization and take a holistic approach. Growth in IT leads to separate systems that sometimes work at cross-purposes. When it becomes impossible to look at your entire network and the impact these systems have on one another, tunnel vision ensues. Always look at your network from the outside in, including the user, the device, the network and the data.
- Be sure to have a fully documented and implemented BYOD strategy and policy in place. That will allow you to follow and secure your data anywhere it goes.
- Put in place a centralized endpoint management system. That means trimming your arsenal of tools for managing the variety of endpoints. Tools that support only particular OSes and applications are management silos waiting to happen. Before you can manage all your devices, your tools must know where to find them.
- Ensure that you have a fully automated, well-implemented patch management system. The most embarrassing vulnerability is the one you could have dealt with by staying current with your patches and network security updates.
- Know that shadow IT is at work in your organization and plan for it. IT managers are accustomed to knowing (or thinking they know) about everything happening on the network, including the devices connected to it and the applications running on it. But with the high expectations of users and the consumerization of IT, that is a risky mindset to adopt.
New E-book: Technology Tunnel Vision
Have a look at our new e-book, Technology Tunnel Vision, Part 1. It explains the holistic approach to endpoint management and network security and can help you focus on more than the blue sky at the end of the tunnel.