As companies integrate a wider variety of devices and applications into their workflows, the need for comprehensive endpoint management grows increasingly important. Securing enterprise networks is often achieved by deploying an endpoint protection platform, which Gartner defines as “a solution deployed on endpoint devices to prevent file-based malware attacks, detect malicious activity and provide the investigation and remediation capabilities needed to respond to dynamic security incidents and alerts.” While it’s true that most IT administrators leverage endpoint management products to combat emerging cyberthreats, these tools also play a crucial role in maintaining the health of on-site hardware and supporting employee productivity.
Why IT teams need endpoint management tools
IT teams must be able to track the performance of every device with access to their network as a means of ensuring business critical software and applications remain secure and up to date, as even minor service interruptions can prevent users from working efficiently. Most endpoint management products typically possess one or more of the following features:
- Asset management
- Compliance evaluation
- Threat detection
- Patch management
- Network security controls
Although home computers are equipped with many of these basic protection features, endpoint security offerings for enterprise environments are held to a much higher performance standard. Corporate IT teams must be able to effectively manage security provisions for hundreds of devices and workstations to keep their networks insulated from intrusion, which often requires several overlapping safeguards.
Top 4 endpoint management tools
According to a 2018 article from CSO, most endpoint management strategies incorporate two tiers of security: software agents that run in the background of active endpoints and the centralized administration platforms that monitor and control these agents. However, companies that utilize several disparate security applications face a number of logistical challenges that may leave them vulnerable to cyberthreats, which is why prioritizing the most effective tools can be a useful practice. To that end, here are four tools every IT team needs:
1. Threat detection software
Organizations of all types collect and store sensitive consumer data that cybercriminals can exploit, making threat intelligence and prevention tools essential to their network and system security. The Identity Theft Resource Center’s most recent Data Breach Report found that 446,515,334 records were exposed during 2018 alone, which has massive ramifications for companies in every line of business. ITRC’s study identified hacking as the leading cause of large-scale data breaches, but did not elaborate on how the hostile actors were able to gain access to the stolen records. Modern cyber risks come in many forms, including malware, phishing scams, SQL injections, ransomware attacks and zero-day exploits, all of which can be mitigated by threat detection software.
2. Mobile device management
The rise of bring-your-own-device culture has created new challenges for IT teams, as each smartphone, laptop and tablet represents a potential attack vector for would-be hackers. A 2016 study from Tech Pro Research indicated that 59% of organizations already allow their employees to use personal devices at work, with another 13% planning to move toward a BYOD framework in the near future. Considering that human error represents a serious vulnerability for network security, companies will increasingly rely on comprehensive internal policies and procedures to insulate their systems from potential security risks. Mobile device management tools give IT administrators the ability to define user policies, control app permissions, restrict access for high risk devices and more.
3. Data loss prevention
Even the most robust data storage infrastructures encounter issues over the course of their operational lifespan, which makes data loss prevention tools essential for maintaining long-term business continuity. IT teams that leverage these applications are able to protect their data stores by disabling specific drivers, removable devices and user directories, reducing the likelihood that human error will lead to a severe data loss event. Additionally, data loss prevention tools can block a range of IP addresses to ensure all internal communications are secure from unauthorized access.
4. Reboot to restore
One of the surest ways to maximize endpoint security is by integrating reboot to restore technology into every workstation and mobile device that has access to a company’s network. Not only can this protect core systems from accidental misconfigurations, it also empowers end users to resolve their own IT issues. Reboot to restore software allows IT teams to roll out security and software updates across specific user groups and quickly clean out any malicious code with a simple reboot. This endpoint management tool creates a snapshot of a workstation’s optimal configuration and software settings, ensuring any unwanted changes can be easily reversed. Reboot to restore technologies feature a variety of functional capabilities, such as:
- Configuration drift resolution
- Malware, ransomware and virus detection
- Network access restriction
- Unauthorized software removal
- Self-healing endpoint management
Faronics’ Deep Freeze software is a unified management tool that combines the most effective endpoint security offerings into one centralized platform, assisting IT teams by shoring up their defenses, streamlining their administrative tasks, and preserving the functionality of every workstation in their network. To learn how Faronics’ Deep Freeze technology can help your organization, browse our website or start a free trial today.