Endpoint/Device Security

Where Endpoint Management and Security Meet

Upgrade existing tools or net new platform investments?

Author: ESG’s Mark Bowker
Author: ESG's Mark Bowker

This is the question IT operations and information security teams are wrestling with as they attempt to secure an expanding perimeter driven by cloud, mobile, and IoT. Should companies maintain a traditional siloed tool approach or embrace a modern management approach that unifies management and security policies across users, devices, applications, networks, and data?

The ultimate goal is to deliver a secure workspace by authenticating users across devices and enforcing policies based on location, device type, application, data, and the security posture of the end-user. This seems simple enough, but given the stress mobility, cloud, and IoT are putting on IT and security pros and the market dynamics ESG is observing with endpoint management and security vendors, business are finding themselves in a quandary.

The one constant for businesses is change as more devices, applications, and innovative ideas continue to pour in, but these leave IT operations and security teams with the challenge of answering:

  • When is it time to use existing management (user, device, app, and data) tools versus acquiring net new tools?
  • How do IT operations respond to security teams' requests (protection, visibility, response, etc.)?
  • Who owns the budget and who is the ultimate decision maker for new management and security tools?
  • What’s the best vendor strategy? Fewer or more? Suite or product?

There are also a couple other dynamics happening in the market that should be factored in:

  • Security and endpoint management solutions are starting to look the same. For example, MDM/EMM vendors like Citrix, Jamf, IBM, iVanti, Microsoft, MobileIron, and VMware Airwatch are building in more security protection while vendors with security in their DNA like Centrify, McAfee, Sophos, Symantec, and Trend Micro offer some very compelling endpoint management features with roadmaps that rotate further in the management  direction.
  • Threat intelligence is key for companies that want to detect and prevent threats (across all devices, irrespective of location) before they happen. So, the real question is how can companies take advantage of a modern management approach while tapping into the threat intelligence of Cisco, CheckPoint, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Symantec, and others, and how impactful with these threat intelligence networks be on making modern management decisions?

Modern management platforms create a single source of truth for policies that can be managed and executed in real time across a heterogeneous application, device, and cloud strategy. However, these benefits are not always well understood by IT decision makers and security teams.

Existing management tool investments and security strategies are being impacted from both the IT vendors and the challenges business are facing leading IT to explore modern management approaches that can potential help consolidate investments, improve the overall security posture of the company, and perhaps most importantly achieve a seamless end-user experience.

Mark Bowker is senior analyst at ESG. Read more ESG blogs here.