Move beyond your spreadsheet of machines

What is your top IT worry today? According to a recent Harvey Nash survey, most CIOs are concerned about cybersecurity more than anything else.1 And for good reason — data breaches, malware, ransomware and other threats are on the rise, costing organizations millions of dollars every year.

Cybercriminals are certainly becoming more sophisticated, but the truth is that most attacks are caused by IT errors allowing hackers to infiltrate systems via misconfigured and unsecured endpoints. Sometimes users accidentally download malware-laden PDFs and Word docs from email, unleashing them onto their endpoints and ultimately into network systems.

The situation is compounded as people rely on a wider range of endpoint devices to do their work. On top of traditional endpoints, such as desktops, laptops, printers and such, IT teams are challenged to track and manage bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and internet-of-things (IoT) technologies. Being aware of the actions occurring on disparate endpoint types is no easy feat and keeping them updated, patched and consistently managed can be nearly impossible.

Most IT organizations rely on separate tools for identifying and provisioning assets, managing mobile devices, re-imaging devices, patching, updating, policy management and compliance enforcement. Many smaller companies use spreadsheets and manual asset inventories to manage their device environments. This can work for very small companies—at least at first. But given that the average employee today is assigned or works with three to five devices, this situation quickly gets out of hand when these companies grow.

It’s critical to build a cyber-defense strategy that provides consistent tracking of all devices in your IT environment. Because you really can’t manage, service or secure something if you don’t know it’s there.

According to endpoint management experts James Rico of Quest and Microsoft MVP Dale Meredith, a unified foundation of asset inventory that moves beyond the spreadsheet is a critical first step in any endpoint security strategy. In their on-demand webcast, Rico and Meredith outline the elements of a unified asset management environment, explore how unified endpoint management (UEM) and asset management can work together, and provide best practices for overall IT asset management.

With the right tools, you can manage mobile devices as you manage all your other endpoints — and hopefully begin to lighten some of your stress around cybersecurity.

1 I — Global Intelligence for the CIO, “Security at the top of the CIO agenda,” https://www.i-cio.com/management/role-of-the-cio/item/security-jumps-to-the-top-of-the-cio-agenda

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