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Today, organizations are managing an ever-increasing number of connected devices to accommodate the new requirements posed by hybrid working and the growth of IoT. Ken Galvin offers three tips for ways to make endpoint security management more effective.

The growth of IoT and BYOD devices in use across organizations is expected to continue, showing no sign of slowing anytime soon. As the number of work devices continues to increase, so does the number of endpoints which make it the perfect avenue of entry for attackers. Managing and securing them will become an even more complex and time-consuming task, making it clear that companies are facing serious endpoint security challenges.

Besides this, organizations are using more complex suites of applications, particularly with hybrid workers. As companies attempted to adjust to the new ‘work from anywhere’ scenario, employees were introduced to a whole range of applications with the scope of improving workplace collaboration and building stronger security for teams, either in the office or remotely. However, this came with its own challenges as IT teams are now having to deal with more and more applications to manage and keep secure across the hybrid IT environment. With the already overstretched IT staff, this can be particularly challenging, especially when ensuring that vulnerability patching isn’t disregarded.

The reality is that IT environments are now constantly under attack, with more vulnerabilities that need patching than ever before. According to Statista, over 22,500 new common IT vulnerabilities were discovered in 2022, making it the highest reported annual figure to date. With famous vulnerabilities such as Log4Shell/Log4j and Follina still making the headlines, it becomes even more urgent for IT teams to ensure that patching is consistent across their perimeters in a bid to reduce the likelihood of unwanted attacks.

Having a comprehensive patching strategy will put you in a far better place when it comes to securing your endpoints and making sure any old or new vulnerabilities won’t find their way into your systems.  To ensure the success of your approach, don’t forget take into account the next three key tips that will help you stay on top of the endpoint security burden:

Avoid limiting patching to operating systems

Patching is essential to IT security and only being able to patch operating systems and a few limited applications leaves organizations vulnerable to cyber attacks. All work devices have third party applications like Adobe, Chrome, Cisco, Slack, that require regular patching to allow employees to use them safely and securely day by day. What’s worse, endpoint management for remote employees’ devices creates additional difficulties in knowing which devices are patched already or not. That’s why it's imperative to fill the third party patching gap that comes with the deployment of a full range of applications. If the applications are unpatched, the device may become a prime target for cyber attacks.

Eliminate the guesswork while patching

Which devices are patched already? Which are in the process of being patched? Which were successfully installed and which failed? These are few of the fundamental questions that many security professionals are facing and can bring extra pressure to the already over-pressured teams. Just as important is, deploying a solution that tests and verifies OS and third-party patches to prevent the deployment of defective or delayed patches and updates - avoiding potential outages and productivity disruption and eliminating the guesswork on the results of your patch job.

Remove the burden from your IT teams

Overburdened IT departments need automation and simplification but, without complete patching, they have to resort to double the solutions resulting in double the maintenance and management and extended manual intervention. This  leads to wasted time and resources that can impact the overall security of the company as attackers strike when least expected. An all-in-one endpoint management solution represents the ideal tool that removes the need of managing multiple applications, allowing you to know the patch status of every device from one place. In the end, IT teams will be able to use their precious time and resources in other mission critical tasks, eliminating the pressures from the already strained security teams.

Effective endpoint management

Not everything is doom and gloom and with the help of an effective and comprehensive endpoint management solution you can eliminate the stress linked to managing multiple types of applications and provide a helping hand to your IT staff when it comes to securing your hybrid work environment. An all-in-one solution can eliminate infrastructure challenges, save time, and maximize resources with the help of key features, such as automated cloud patching on every device. IT managers can now secure corporate-owned and bring-your-own devices (BYOD) with a wide range of features while easily automating endpoints tasks.

The author

Ken Galvin isDirector KACE, Quest.

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