Over the past decade, mobile security platforms have existed under a variety of classifications. First came mobile device management (MDM), followed by enterprise mobility management (EMM), and today we’ve arrived at an entirely new term: unified endpoint management (UEM).

In its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools, Gartner has evaluated UEM vendors across a variety of criteria, including:

  • EMM capabilities, spanning from provisioning and reporting to data protection;
  • Modern management of PCs and Macs;
  • Client- and agent-based management techniques, such as imaging and patching; and
  • Proven ability to manage Internet of Things (IoT) devices and gateways.

To learn more, read the report: 2018 Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools

MDM and EMM in the Rearview — Why the Sudden Change?

For years, IT and security leaders have needed a way to enroll, manage and enforce compliance on smartphones and tablets, which MDM was able to accomplish. These needs were just the beginning — the devices became more capable, and their apps, content and data became integral to everyday business operations. Hence the need for EMM solutions, which enabled a more holistic management approach.

Over time, the variety and differentiation across device types — smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, wearables and IoT — has increased, as have their everyday applications and use cases. Traditional MDM and EMM tools that organizations have relied upon to manage these endpoints do not provide consistent workflows for management, nor do they enable an over-the-air, out-of-the-box experience for all devices.

UEM accounts for vast industry-specific innovations that have taken place and supports modern-day use cases for endpoint and mobile, including:

  • One window and consistent workflows for securing disparate devices;
  • Migration from legacy laptop platforms to Microsoft Windows 10;
  • Identity and access management (IAM) for mobile devices; and
  • Low-touch, no-touch deployments for PC and Mac.

Laptop Management Meets Modern-Day APIs

With the introduction of Windows 10, everything changed. Unlike its laptop ancestors, this particular laptop operating system (OS) was not reliant on an agent to administer enterprise-grade management and security. Much like its iPhone and Android cousins, it could be managed using MDM application programming interfaces (APIs), as can macOS.

In the past, organizations were reliant on MDM and EMM separate from client management tools (CMTs). Now, this can be accomplished through UEM. For the first time, a single tool can manage laptops alongside mobile devices.

With the end of life (EOL) of Windows 7 scheduled for 2020, organizations are setting their sights on deploying the latest laptop platforms throughout the enterprise, primarily macOS and Windows 10. The most effective way to accomplish this is not through the traditional approach with one solution for PCs, Macs and servers and a separate solution for mobile devices.

Now that modern PCs and Macs can be managed alongside iPhones, iPads and Androids, IT teams are prioritizing consolidation to reduce costs and improve IT efficiency. As modern platforms, such as Chrome OS, become more prevalent in the enterprise, the ability to manage endpoints with APIs will become an even higher area of focus and importance.

Expanding Into Wearables and IoT

What else is UEM doing, aside from incorporating laptops into the mix? As organizations have increased their dependency on endpoints and mobile devices to transform their operations, the complexity of their use cases has increased.

Mixed-reality devices, such as Microsoft HaloLens, offer a great example of how unique device types are coming into the fold — and need to be managed just like any other device. As IT and security leaders broaden their deployments of IoT devices and sensors, the need to blanket the management of every “thing” will only continue to expand.

IBM Named a Leader in Unified Endpoint Management

IBM was named a Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools due to its completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Unlike all other vendors featured on the Magic Quadrant for UEM, we believe IBM MaaS360 is the only solution that offers artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities delivered by Watson, helping IT and security leaders make informed decisions about their end users and endpoints, in addition to their apps, content and data. Aiming to provide the best possible outcomes for administrators and users, MaaS360 is committed to making AI a native component of the UEM experience.

To learn more, read the report: 2018 Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools

To learn more about MaaS360 and Gartner’s assessment of the UEM industry, download your complimentary copy of the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools.

Disclaimer: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools, Chris Silva, Rich Doheny, Bryan Taylor, Rob Smith and Manjunath Bhat, 23 July 2018. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

More from Endpoint

Patch Tuesday -> Exploit Wednesday: Pwning Windows Ancillary Function Driver for WinSock (afd.sys) in 24 Hours

‘Patch Tuesday, Exploit Wednesday’ is an old hacker adage that refers to the weaponization of vulnerabilities the day after monthly security patches become publicly available. As security improves and exploit mitigations become more sophisticated, the amount of research and development required to craft a weaponized exploit has increased. This is especially relevant for memory corruption vulnerabilities.Figure 1 — Exploitation timelineHowever, with the addition of new features (and memory-unsafe C code) in the Windows 11 kernel, ripe new attack surfaces can…

When the Absence of Noise Becomes Signal: Defensive Considerations for Lazarus FudModule

In February 2023, X-Force posted a blog entitled “Direct Kernel Object Manipulation (DKOM) Attacks on ETW Providers” that details the capabilities of a sample attributed to the Lazarus group leveraged to impair visibility of the malware’s operations. This blog will not rehash analysis of the Lazarus malware sample or Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) as that has been previously covered in the X-Force blog post. This blog will focus on highlighting the opportunities for detection of the FudModule within the…

Cybersecurity in the Next-Generation Space Age, Pt. 3: Securing the New Space

View Part 1, Introduction to New Space, and Part 2, Cybersecurity Threats in New Space, in this series. As we see in the previous article of this series discussing the cybersecurity threats in the New Space, space technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate — with new technologies being launched into orbit at an increasingly rapid pace. The need to ensure the security and safety of these technologies has never been more pressing. So, let’s discover a range of measures…

Backdoor Deployment and Ransomware: Top Threats Identified in X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023

Deployment of backdoors was the number one action on objective taken by threat actors last year, according to the 2023 IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index — a comprehensive analysis of our research data collected throughout the year. Backdoor access is now among the hottest commodities on the dark web and can sell for thousands of dollars, compared to credit card data — which can go for as low as $10. On the dark web — a veritable eBay for…