When it comes to endpoint management, I’m fond of the saying, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
But what if you can’t even see it? Or report on it? Or remediate it when it’s been compromised?
Our recent webcast, Predicting the Future of Endpoint Management in a Mobile World, was a discussion about endpoint management and security endpoint protection between Tim Warner, a Microsoft MVP, author and tech evangelist at Pluralsight, and our own Nick Morea, sales engineer here at Quest Software. The upshot of that webcast is our new paper summarizing the future of endpoint management now that mobile devices are such a big part of every organization’s IT landscape.
Our earlier blog post covers topics like how we got to endpoint management, what endpoint device confetti is and a wish list of features for the best endpoint protection and management. In this post, I’ll explore what’s at stake and what to look for in an endpoint management solution.
Top 3 risks and security hazards and how they can affect you
First, the diversity in device type is daunting. You could probably dedicate an entirely separate IT department for each kind of device – laptops, tablets, smartphones, connected things – not to mention the operating systems running on them – Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux.
Few of us have the unlimited resources that would take, so instead, think about your risks along these lines:
- Lack of Visibility – Are all of your endpoints visible to you, in all their diversity? Where are they? What is installed on them? Are they patched and updated?
- Lack of Policy – How well is your inventory documented? If you had to produce a report today for compliance certification or a legal requirement, would you be able to do it? How long would it take you? What kind of policy do you have for documenting your inventory and reporting?
- Lack of Enforcement – When it comes to security, how can you detect and remediate compromised systems, given all the moving parts in your IT landscape?
Most IT administrators who want to keep up with their endpoints have to bounce among disparate consoles to get a clear picture. The best endpoint protection and management comes through a single pane of glass.
5 questions to ask in choosing an endpoint management solution
To ensure that you cover those risks and hazards, consider these five questions when you’re choosing an endpoint management solution:
- Does the solution match your business needs?
This is a matter of the complexity of your organization. If you’re a straight-up Windows shop and don’t need to support smartphones, life in IT can be simple. But in time you’ll almost certainly have users with business needs that extend to iOS and Android devices, so you’ll need to manage them on your network.
- Can the solution grow with your business?
This is about scalability. Will the solution grow to match your business needs as you look into the future? More employees with more devices in more places means more endpoint management, and you’ll have to keep pace with it.
- Is it an “umbrella” solution?
Start by defining an endpoint device as “an internet-capable piece of hardware on a TCP/IP network.” That’s some big umbrella, spanning printers, network appliances, storage devices, routers, gateways and almost any single piece of rack hardware, plus the laptops, smartphones and tablets people use to get their work done.
- How does the solution play with others?
The term “integration” refers to how well your endpoint solution plays with the rest of your infrastructure, be it on premises, in the cloud or hybrid. Are you able to see what’s happening with your endpoints in the cloud?
- What is the vendor's policy?
When you’re purchasing an endpoint management appliance, you’re dealing with hardware and management software, so issues like support, maintenance and updates arise throughout the life of the asset. How well is the vendor going to support you over time?
See the future of endpoint management in a mobile world
Tim and Nick had more insights into endpoint management from the perspective of the IT administrator. Read about them in our new paper, Predicting the Future of Endpoint Management in a Mobile World, available for download now. It includes details on BYOD and COPE (Company Owned, Personally Enabled) devices and an overview of the benefits of using KACE Endpoint Management for the complete lifecycle of all your connected systems and devices.