A unified approach to cybersecurity will help fix your IT blind spots

Companies are under siege. With attackers growing ever more creative, many security vendors are assembling a laundry list of cybersecurity solutions in response. Businesses have at their fingertips a variety of vendors to choose from – each offering top-of-class solutions that should leave attackers ruing the day. But how do IT teams navigate the complex landscape of multiple vendors and tools?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic the enterprise cybersecurity landscape was dominated by chaos and confusion. With an ever-increasing volume and variety of endpoints, combined with rapidly evolving cybersecurity threats, there has been a tremendous amount of pressure placed on IT teams. Companies often implement siloed security solutions, many of which have arduous requirements that apply unnecessary friction throughout the user experience, resulting in employees turning to workarounds and shadow IT.

Then the pandemic happened, exacerbating all these existing challenges and revealing serious blind spots in organisations’ security platforms.

Experts predict that moving forward, digital transformation and continued remote working will become the ‘new normal’. As will the need to secure various types of endpoints, and safeguard sensitive corporate data, many of which will now sit outside of the enterprise network. To succeed in this new reality, solutions must meet the rigorous security requirement of IT leaders while also accommodating users’ desire for ease-of-use and mobility.

Endpoint Chaos

We have long moved on from a time when organisations only had to secure laptops and desktops. The increasing volume and variety of endpoints – ranging from phones and tablets to wearables, and all kinds of IoT and cloud-connected devices – has resulted in higher costs and complexity for IT. Multiple vendors offer best-in-class solutions to manage different parts of the IT environment, and the desire to cherry pick these isolated solutions to provide complete security may seem logical at first. However, the way these solutions interact and communicate with one another can lead to more problems than they solve, and organisations are left struggling to cope with an ever-rising number of security vendors, tools, consoles, and threat alerts – not to mention the increased vulnerability this presents to attackers. The increase in available disparate tools and platforms has led to the formation of cybersecurity blind spots; a large gap where one tool ends and another starts, leaving IT teams and management unable to gain full visibility or even control over the solutions in place.

On top of this, the BYOD model bring with it a plethora of new devices that need onboarding and securing and is currently being put to the test globally during the pandemic. Organisations that already supported BYOD have an advantage of course, but not many companies had a 100% remote workforce. Now, IT leaders are struggling not only to manage huge numbers of endpoints, but many unmanaged devices within those numbers too.

Lack of Preparedness for a Remote Workforce

Few, if any, organisations were fully prepared for the scale of disruption that came with the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity of remote work. They also lacked solutions to enable employees to access corporate data and resources behind the firewall. Most important, they had no infrastructure to ensure data, device, and app security, having to patch together offerings from multiple vendors to plug the gap.

A pre-pandemic IDC survey found more than 60% of organisations have trouble balancing employee flexibility (increasing remote work, agility, and consumer-like digital experiences) with security requirements. IDC predicts that the pandemic experience will prompt many organisations to closely examine and upgrade policies, processes, and technologies related to remote work at an accelerated pace.

IT leaders everywhere had to rethink their cybersecurity strategies amid global reports of heightened cyberattacks. In a PwC survey of finance leaders worldwide at the start of the pandemic, respondents indicated “productivity loss due to lack of remote work capabilities” would be their top challenge.

A New Approach for the New Reality: Unified Endpoint Security

Modern problems require modern solutions. The next generation of cybersecurity consolidates the best available AI-driven tools for detecting, protecting against, and remediating threats to every type of endpoint. Unified endpoint security takes a comprehensive approach to taming the chaotic cybersecurity environment, rather than just simulating the impression of complete visibility. The Gartner Predicts 2020 Mobile and Endpoint Technologies Report notes a trend toward consolidating mobile threat defence (MTD) offerings with endpoint detection and response (EDR) and endpoint protection. It recommends that organisations adopt security tools, such as MTD, to close gaps in existing security infrastructure capabilities, rather than fundamentally changing security capabilities. The report also forecasts that 50% of organisations will have MTD in place by 2023, up from fewer than 20% of organisations in 2020.

The Power of One

Having a single pane of glass management tool to oversee your entire security network, organisations can gain an improved security posture with enhanced visibility and greater control, providing superior risk mitigation across a diverse IT infrastructure.

By harnessing artificial intelligence, machine learning, simplified management, and automation, unified endpoint security delivers world-class cyber threat prevention and remediation while providing visibility across all endpoints, including desktops, mobile devices, servers, and IoT – all without interfering with user productivity. Unified endpoint security is designed for the future of work.

Contibuted by Adam Enterkin, VP, EMEA, BlackBerry

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