Endpoint Security Management: How to Make a Hard Job a Little Easier

Endpoint Security Management: How to Make a Hard Job a Little Easier

Let's cut right to the chase here, the life of an IT pro is hard. With endless to-do lists stuffed with infrastructure maintenance, security management and support, it's always a new adventure. Unfortunately for us, it doesn't look like things are getting any easier. Technological trends such as BYOD have made many aspects of modern business more efficient, but they've also increased the complexity of IT environments and made processes such as endpoint security management a real thorn in the side of many an IT pro.

In a world of constantly evolving IT landscapes, how can we better manage these growing complexities without driving up costs (and without losing our minds)?

Putting a Finger on IT Complexities

A recent survey on the challenges of controlling IT complexity revealed some telling insights into the state of IT management and network monitoring. With a healthy 1,300 respondents, the study revealed that two-thirds of IT pros feel that the increasing complexity of modern IT has made their jobs more difficult to manage.

When these complexities were broken down, 55 percent of respondents cited mobile devices as one of their main areas of concern, while 43 percent cited BYOD. Adding to the challenge of these complexities is the fact that nearly half (44 percent of respondents) aren't able to monitor as much of their environment as they'd like. And this is despite the fact that 38 percent are already employing more than three monitoring solutions!

When taken as a whole, these statistics clearly illustrate two things: First, the growing mobility of IT presents new complexities for endpoint security management. Second, it's becoming increasingly difficult to monitor these mobile environments with one, two or even three separate solutions. In an effort to solve these IT riddles, we must simplify endpoint security and automate its management. Easier said than done, right?

Sharpen Your Focus

If you want to simplify endpoint security management, it's important to have a sharp focus. Most security threats need either a network or application (likely both) to facilitate propagation and execution. Zeroing your monitoring efforts in on those two aspects will provide a great — and simple — foundation for your security strategy.

Maintain Visibility

The next step — monitoring mobile network and app activity — can be boiled down to visibility. This includes visibility of all data that touches sanctioned apps within your environment as well as mobile traffic through your wireless access points. Ideally these two facets would be integrated on the monitoring side to track all data from point of origin to destination throughout your network's reach. However, simply collecting this monitoring data doesn't constitute visibility. The ability to view and analyze it through accessible dashboards is equally critical.

Automating security monitoring of mobile endpoints then involves implementing a comprehensive mobile policy that can be pushed to mobile apps and devices, and developing scripts to further streamline the analysis of monitoring data.

When it comes down to it, there's really no reason to further complicate security monitoring with multiple tools. Not when modern solutions provide all the necessary functionality to streamline and automate network, VM, cloud and application monitoring.

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