As companies in all industries continue to integrate more advanced computing technologies, the need for responsive and reliable endpoint management grows increasingly dire. Every laptop, desktop, smartphone and mobile device connected to a corporate network represents a potential attack vector for would-be hackers. This is especially true for internet of things devices, as most products lack the built-in security functions that organizations need to keep their critical IT assets and data safe. Considering there will be a projected 20.4 billion IoT devices in use by 2020, according to estimates from Gartner, it’s crucial for organizations of all types to get serious about cybersecurity as soon as possible.
Of course, endpoint management is about more than just system and network security. Keeping pace with the latest software patches and OS updates can be time-consuming for IT professionals who do not have the right endpoint solutions in place. Organizations that manually administer a wide range of technologies run the risk of dropped productivity and unplanned downtime when problems arise, which is why many companies have started leveraging automated tools. That said, the best way to insulate vulnerable endpoints from authorized users and subpar performance is to integrate a unified management platform that offers enhanced visibility and control over all devices in a given network.
The Rise of Cloud-Based Endpoint Management
In the past, nearly all organizations ran their endpoint management processes locally. While this approach was certainly useful for traditional in-office environments, it has proven to be quite inefficient in the era of remote work and bring-your-own-device culture. As more personal devices enter the fold, companies have had to look for alternative IT management solutions that offer advanced features, including application whitelisting, threat intelligence, data loss prevention and more.
One of the most common innovations is the use of cloud computing technologies, as they allow IT professionals to access and administer endpoints from any secure device with an internet connection. According to research firm Canalys, cloud infrastructure spending surpassed the $80 billion mark in 2018 and is expected to reach upwards of $143 billion by 2020. To understand why cloud-based storage and endpoint management tools have become such a dominant force, it’s useful to understand how they impact real-world environments.
First, it’s worth mentioning that many companies have seized upon cloud technologies to help reduce their IT spending. Since remote servers handle most of the computing and data storage processes, organizations don’t need to invest in expensive, high-end equipment. A survey from Gemalto found that 79% of IT professionals believe cloud computing applications and platforms are strategically important, a trend that will likely continue to pick up steam as the technology becomes even more sophisticated.
4 Benefits of Cloud-Only Endpoint Management
Managing endpoints solely through a cloud-based platform allows companies to keep all of their cybersecurity, compliance and maintenance processes under the same umbrella. This not only eliminates the need for multiple administration platforms, it also provides greater oversight of business-critical IT applications. Currently, the average businesses runs close to 79% of its workloads through a public and/or private cloud platform, according to a 2018 report from RightScale. No matter what system architecture an organization chooses, the benefits of cloud-based endpoint management are quite similar. Here are four key advantages every company should consider:
- Centralized patch management: One of the most valuable features of cloud-based endpoint management platforms is the ability to perform network-wide software and OS updates from one easy-to-use console. Most solutions allow IT administrators to schedule different maintenance windows and set up automated updates, which can help reduce downtime during the busy work week.
- Cloud storage integration: Computing environments that rely on cloud storage can be difficult to maintain if all profiles, file servers and backups are managed locally. This is especially true for multi-user endpoints, as each individual will likely have different workflows and access privileges. By selecting an endpoint management solution with cloud integration capabilities, companies can ensure sensitive data is accessible for those users with the right permissions.
- Advanced threat intelligence: Mitigating cybersecurity threats requires the right set of tools and predictive capabilities, which is why most cloud-based management solutions offer enhanced threat intelligence. Moving to a cloud-only framework can help strengthen a company’s IT posture by compiling all IT security processes in one place, closing the gaps between disparate security systems. Being able to quickly detect, analyze and remediate attacks from a single console can also streamline disaster recovery and cyberattack response efforts.
- Seamless device deployment: Adding new endpoints to an existing network can be labor intensive and rushing through the deployment phase can introduce a host of vulnerabilities. Cloud-based endpoint management solutions give organizations the capability to manage and track device rollouts in real time without having to switch between different administration platforms. The best options allow IT staff to create customizable software installation packages with multiple installers, as this can simplify all deployment tasks and reduce disruption.
If you’re looking to capitalize on cloud-only endpoint management, Faronics’ Deep Freeze Cloud may be the platform you’re looking for. To learn more, read through our product pages or start a free trial today.