Mobile

The Achilles Heel in IT security

February 10, 2010

A larger, more mobile workforce carrying greater amounts of data on portable devices leaves confidential corporate data, customer information and intellectual property vulnerable to loss. Many of the smartphones and PCs used by mobile workers contain critical data but they don't have the appropriate security precautions in place.

According to Forrester, there are currently more than 34 million telecommuters in the United States, with analysts projecting the number of remote workers to reach 63 million by 2016. The trend is driving businesses to establish better IT measures to safeguard corporate endpoints.

Many organizations are quickly discovering endpoints — sometimes numbering in the thousands of network-connected PCs and devices — are the ‘Achilles' heel' of information security. To protect endpoints and keep pace with new compliance rules, enterprises have been rapidly deploying multiple endpoint security agents and technologies from an average of three to five different vendors. For IT administrators, the lack of integration can cause security management issues. Each new endpoint security component may require a separate management server, configuration profile, security policy, update schedule and pre-deployment compatibility testing. This can increase administrative overhead and management complexities.

Unifying endpoint security components into a single agent with centralized control helps IT organizations simplify endpoint security and reduce costs. A unified endpoint security strategy will:

  • Detect and block malware
  • Enforce policy compliance
  • Offer secure remote access to networks
  • Provide central management and efficiency
  • Be transparent to end-users
  • Secure information stored on endpoints

Protecting sensitive data on the go is critical as the most common vectors of enterprise data loss stem from lost or stolen devices. Once a device falls into unauthorized hands, clear-text data on the endpoint becomes available for access and exploitation. Securing endpoint data includes full-disk encryption with pre-boot authentication, removable media encryption and port/device control — even if the device itself ends up in the wrong hands.

Total security requires companies to create, maintain and evolve an endpoint security strategy that is capable of growing with the organization to provide the best protection and investment. Most importantly, an effective endpoint security strategy employs technologies that allow businesses to scale fast and remain one step ahead of the threat landscape of tomorrow.


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