Despite the growing diversity of enterprise device fleets, which now encompass endpoints like tablets and smartphones in addition to desktop PCs, many organizations have not invested in unified endpoint management tools that can provide better visibility and control over IT assets. Mobile devices now routinely access corporate data, and without the right solution in place, administrators may struggle to ensure that each endpoint receives timely security updates and is monitored around the clock.
Bring your own device initiatives the source of many security concerns
The emergence of the BYOD trend has forced enterprises to up their security game. ZDNet's Dan Kusnetzky recently spoke with NCP Engineering CTO Joerg Hirschmann, who argued that mobile security actually has ramifications for a company's entire IT infrastructure. In addition to mobile endpoints, administrators must also keep an eye on databases, applications and classic defense mechanisms like firewalls, simply to ensure that devices and data have minimal exposure to risk.
In a sense, BYOD-enabled hardware is a potential Trojan Horse into the enterprise, since it promises great reward but may harbor hard-to-detect threats. As companies integrate complex cloud computing to better serve mobility and collaboration, the challenges of balancing efficiency and security become more acute. Fortunately, endpoint solutions, in conjunction with managed infrastructure services, can relieve this burden, as the provider takes care of monitoring, helpdesk requests and around-the-clock security.
Endpoint security a vital cog in enterprise defense machinery
According to a survey cited by Computerworld's Mary Pratt, more than 90 percent of IT professionals in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and Japan admit that mobile endpoints regularly access their networks, and the number of requests is growing. At the same time, many of these respondents have not taken action to mitigate risk through endpoint management.
"Everyone's getting hacked," Constellation Research analyst Ray Wang told Computerworld. "And because the platforms are so wide and different, it is a security nightmare. You have to secure the network, the operating system those devices are on, and whatever pieces of content you are putting on top of it. So security, it is [about the] device, the content on the system, the operating system and the network."
Slightly more than 60 percent of survey respondents reported that they did not manage corporate data on BYOD assets, despite citing such management as one of the key stumbling blocks to mobile security. Accordingly, more companies may need to take steps to mitigate risk and protect sensitive corporate information by utilizing strong, well-supported endpoint security solutions.