Securing the end point

An expanding estate of end point devices is making security maintenance an increasingly difficult task

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By  Keri Allan Published  January 9, 2014

Users need to be aware of an important issue however: vendors provide the ability to have full end point security, however if the solution isn’t set-up correctly you may not be fully secure. IT managers must make sure they’re fully involved in the process in order to be sure they have the correct set-up in place and understand the full abilities open to them.

“Most decent end point protection vendors will allow control and protection if the solution is tuned correctly. Unfortunately we quite often experience that the settings on an end point protection is not performed well enough to ensure proper protection,” Solling explains. “Quite often this is the fault of the systems integrator as it is their responsibility to ensure not only the successful implementation and proper tuning of the solution, but also to make sure that the customer is fully aware of all the features.”

Once an end point solution is in place, IT departments want advanced remote management tools that help to manage end point devices, and usability is a key for any security solution to.

“Solutions need to work, need to integrate into the business and also be easy to use so that admins can concentrate on collecting information to protect business assets,” highlights Ralf Haubrich, vice president Sophos CEEMEA.

The vendors response has been to make solutions that are easier for administrators to manage, such as end point security suites rather than single point solutions. These are designed to get updates easily and to integrate with existing infrastructure.

“In many cases, though the solution may indeed be capable of meeting the organisation’s security needs, the complexity of its interface prevents administrators from utilising and accessing the required features,” says Alizadeh. “We have found that providing a centralised management console is a great way for IT managers to easily manage the security of their entire organisation’s network from a single point.”

A number of different reporting capabilities are now on offer too. These include logs, vulnerability assessment tools, risk monitoring solutions and network access controls. Many vendors offer customisable reporting solutions that allow the users to get the information they specifically require for their responsibilities.

“IT administrators are interested in technical, deep-dive reports, while executives want a high-level security posture report. In addition, reports should be accessible and readable across multiple platforms,” Teksoz notes.

“Most solutions come with their own reporting tools however we also often integrate solutions into security information and event management (SIEM) environments, which allows the customer to have one holistic view of what is going on from a security perspective in their environment,” says Solling.

Looking forward, SaaS will begin to have more of a place in creating effective end points, however vendors and analysts believe we’re far off replacing end points with a service entirely based in the cloud.

“I personally believe both will coexist for a long time,” says Al-Bokhary. “Organisations with large, centralised offices will most likely continue with on-site management of end point protection solutions, even for their mobile users. On the other hand organisations which depend on distributed offices or service locations have already started mobilising towards cloud solutions, and security-as-a-service is not stranger of this shift,” he notes.

“SaaS will not replace all traditional end points in certain sectors,” agrees IDC’s Kumar. “SMBs may seek an SaaS format for cost and management purposes,” she adds though.

What is definite however, is that the sector will continue to expand, adding improved solutions.

“I believe we will see a classical disruption technology theory happening, as new resources become available via innovation, we will see easier ways to stay secure, detect suspicious activities and also clean up threats,” Haubrich notes. “People and traditional end points will still be with us for quite some time, it will however lead to some changes like incorporating both. It’s an exciting time to be in the security field!”

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