Effective Endpoint Security and Management: Coupling Content With Context

November 11, 2015
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2 min read

When it comes to effective endpoint security, it’s imperative to couple content with context. Content, in this case, is information gathered by your systems that tells you that your endpoints have been compromised. And it’s important to have content — visibility into potential threats is the first step to being able to thwart them.

But it’s not enough on its own. Content must be coupled with context, or the ability to respond to what you see in a way that enables you to fully understand and address the problem quickly before widespread damage can occur. Having the content without the context isn’t much of an advantage. When it comes to endpoints, if you can’t fix the threats you see, you’re almost as helpless as if you hadn’t seen them in the first place.

Achieving Context: The Ability to Take Remediating Action on an Endpoint

Context, or the ability to respond to what you see, can only be achieved two ways. One way is to manually create scripts to make sense of the raw data provided by visibility-only vendors or to hire third parties to do the work for you. Most organizations lack the complete, current asset and configuration data set required to quantify the scope and impact of completely distributing patches across an entire network.

Some vendors include tools that can help acquire this data, but many require days or weeks to collect and collate this information by scanning every endpoint on the network — and many roaming endpoints are rarely connected to the network. That translates into risk. If this information isn’t immediately available to system administrators when time-critical patches need to be deployed, you’re exposing not only your endpoints, but your whole network to potential cyber thieves.

A second and much better approach is to select a software platform that has a deep, existing library of automated endpoint content. This includes code and patches to content that will help keep your endpoints compliant with governmental, regulatory and operational requirements. When you couple visibility with this kind of deep content, you have the ability solve problems in minutes — not simply see them.

Why This Matters: Endpoints Are the New Perimeter

It’s well-established that securing an organization’s perimeter is imperative to protecting company networks and data. A quick scan of today’s data breach headlines tells us that cybercrime efforts have changed and evolved, with attackers now targeting endpoints as a means of gaining entry into an organization’s network. The endpoint is now the new perimeter.

Each endpoint connected to your system is a point of vulnerability that can expose your entire infrastructure. Increasingly aggressive and sophisticated attacks often bypass traditional security measures, exploiting weaknesses in the vast array of endpoints connected to your system.

Content, Context and Confidence

IBM BigFix has amassed the deepest library of endpoint intelligence in the industry over the past two decades. That means you can keep your data secure around the clock and respond to advanced endpoint attacks with the world’s largest plug-and-play remediation kit.

This ecosystem of checks and endpoint content has been created by real people like you who face the challenges of endpoint management and cyberthreats every day. Perhaps the best part is it’s included with your BigFix installation — which means you won’t need to call a third party when your endpoints have been compromised.

Learn more about how to protect your perimeter — and your data — with this strong endpoint security.

Caleb Barlow

Caleb Barlow is an accomplished security professional and former Vice President at IBM Security, where he led IBM's Threat Intelligence and Incident Response...
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