UEM Is Not Dead! Reports of it’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.

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Digital transformation is changing the world—making security more complex. The traditional perimeters keep fading away as the cloud permeates every area of IT imaginable.  First came MDM, then MAM and EFSS, which morphed into EMM, add VDI among other things and you now have UEM.  In a nutshell, folks are just looking for comprehensive endpoint security. They are many elements to securing your infrastructure and the endpoint is a key part of the equation.

Here is my example of just some of the core components to deliver comprehensive cybersecurity. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but you get the idea.

In a previous blog I discussed how critical networking is to cybersecurity and in a later blog I will discuss the value of delivering a comprehensive end-to-end cybersecurity framework. However, as you can see endpoint security takes up a huge portion of the essentials required for comprehensive cybersecurity. Let me zoom into that for a more detailed look.

According to TechRepublic cyberattacks against endpoints are rising, reaching around $9 million per attack in 2019. Yes folks, UEM is not dead and is even more important than ever.  If you really think about it almost every endpoint that interacts with your network and data including but not limited to mobile devices, PCs, kiosks the internet of things (IoT) pose a danger to your cybersecurity posture. There is no one stop shop solution.

Kevin Mitnick once said, “Companies spend millions of dollars on firewalls, encryption and secure access devices, and it’s money wasted, because none of these measures address the weakest link in the security chain” and he couldn’t be more apropos.

Everyone with a finger is a threat

Yes. Everyone is a threat from the CEO that left his laptop on the beach, to that guy in the office with his password on a sticky note, to that hacker actively trying to access your corporate data.

The better UEM solutions deliver a comprehensive approach to security with a frictionless user experience. Adding layers of security introduces complexity especially when attempting to control endpoints with authentication, ID management, adaptive and contextual access, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), etc. This level of complexity needs to be balanced with a consumer-like customer experience. Think of the movie Minority report.  Security just must be everywhere with seamless access to apps and data. Yes, you would need to avoid malls, jump out of cars and change our eyes if you’re out of compliance.

The device has increasingly become your identity (biometrics for login, etc.) and there is a need to have constant knowledge of whether a device is safe or compromised. This is why UEM is an essential element to security models such as the Zero Trust model. Organizations like Microsoft and Cisco do a great job of breaking down the principles and components of such models. As you can see the one of the key principles is the integration between different components, such tying together security policies between device posture, network location, etc. to deliver contextual access and real-time compliance.

They’re a few things you should expect from a comprehensive UEM solution that is geared for digital transformation and cybersecurity. The solution requires a modern architecture that can scale and automate to an organization’s needs.

The key elements should include:

  • Consolidated App Catalog – The ability to aggregate all your apps from one dashboard simplifies security.  I can’t tell you how many people I know left a company and still have access to one random app or data repository.
  • Federated Access – At this point if you’re not using identity management, I don’t know what to tell you. Password management is not identity management.  I wish you luck.
  • Conditional Access – This is one of the new cornerstones for cybersecurity. It is always possible for hackers to get access to someone credentials but based on the user type, location, application, device, and much more you can really regulate how much (if any) access a user gets.
  • Endpoint Security – Malware detection, data loss prevention, jailbroken devices, encryption, etc.
  • Behavioral Analytics – This is becoming increasingly important. For example, no user that logged in from a device in Australia should be able to logon from a different device in Canada ten minutes later.  Therefore, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will probably be the most important pillar of cybersecurity in the future.
  • Application Security – App scanning, phishing, etc.
  • Cloud Security – as more workloads move from on-premise to the cloud its essential that this cloud service can deliver on their responsibility. Amazon does a good job of this here.
  • Data Security – Securing data in motion, at rest and in use.
  • Content Management – Pretty much security for enterprise file share and sync.
  • IoT Security – Adding protection for anything with an IP address.  Yes, even printers can get hacked.

So how do customers go ahead addressing this?

It’s a complex process but in my opinion, it boils down to four key steps.  I call it becoming secureABLE. Get it?

  • Assess – Perform a security assessment of your IT infrastructure including users, endpoints, data center, and cloud services.
  • Build – Build IT security transformation consensus with your internal stakeholders, lines of business, and executives.
  • Learn – Learn more about the approach and framework you’re going to utilize to transforming cybersecurity for your organization.
  • Evaluate – Evaluate and review the various trials, hands-on labs, and validated designs of the vendors that claim they can address cybersecurity.

Look out for the 4-part blog series coming later how to assess, build, learn and evaluate for cybersecurity outcomes.

Stay secure my friends