Why Collaborative Defense Is the Future of Endpoint Management

Criminals are collaborating on a global scale to target unpatched vulnerabilities and user negligence while resource-constrained IT teams struggle to keep up and manage increasingly complex environments. What are you doing to keep pace? How are you handling endpoint management?

Collaboration Is Lacking in Security

Cybercriminals are sharing zero-day vulnerabilities and credentials, trading corporate infrastructure details, renting out botnets for attacks, and creating easy-to-use, sophisticated, automated tools and weapons — all of which are readily available on the Dark Web. How can IT organizations defend against these threats? One way is to improve collaboration among the good guys, both within and across companies.

Managing and securing endpoints is a complex job with many moving parts. IT operations and security teams are responsible for different but highly interdependent things, and neither team will succeed unless the other does as well. Yet these departments typically work in separate silos and use different, nonintegrated tools, which inhibits information sharing and productivity.

In addition, many companies are not comfortable contributing to collaborative defenses outside their organizations for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Fear of liability from threat intelligence sharing;
  • Corporate policies that prohibit the transmission of threat intelligence outside the organization;
  • Lack of processes to anonymize and distribute threat intelligence back into the community;
  • Lack of resources to define processes or operationalize IT sharing back into the community; and
  • Insufficient trust relationships.

Watch the on-demand webinar: How Collaboration (or Lack Thereof) Affects Your Endpoints

Security Organizations Are Tool-Rich and Resource-Poor

Many companies have told IBM that they are tool-rich but resource-poor. In talking to various organizations, we’ve found that a typical security team uses up to 85 different, nonintegrated security tools from as many as 45 different vendors, which increases both complexity and IT spend. Security and operations teams often do not have access to the same data or reports, which makes it difficult for them to do their jobs effectively. What’s more, not every tool can accomplish everything a team needs to do. More is not necessarily better.

In addition to managing too many tools and vendors, organizations increasingly lack security expertise. Industry estimates predict that there will be at least 1.8 million and as many as 3.5 million unfilled security positions in the next five years. This lack of security resources makes it even more challenging for IT organizations to manage all these diverse tools and vendors.

But what if you could do more with less? By using integrated tools, IT organizations can extend existing capabilities and address functional gaps, improving security and operations performance. Integration also helps you strengthen and streamline your security posture while reducing the complexity of managing disparate point products. By consolidating tools and using a single platform, you can simplify your IT environments while detecting and responding to threats faster with deep visibility, threat intelligence and actionable insights — all on a single pane of glass.

Using solutions you’re already familiar with that work together seamlessly and transparently can also reduce ramp-up time and training effort. Plus, using validated, vendor-supported integrations you can trust eliminates the need to invest time and resources into building and maintaining your own point product integrations. This frees up overburdened IT teams to focus on other strategic initiatives. Simply put, ecosystem integrations improve your ability to protect your endpoints and optimize return on investment (ROI) — all by maximizing existing technology and staffing investments.

Endpoint Management Ecosystem Expansion Enables Collaborative Defense

Collaboration begins with using common, integrated tools and sharing information so that each team can more effectively reduce risk and minimize operating expenses. Toward this goal, IBM Security is expanding its endpoint ecosystem with application integrations that include both IBM and third-party solutions. For example, we are integrating the IBM BigFix endpoint management and security solution with endpoint detection and response (EDR), security information and event management (SIEM), incident response, endpoint visibility and antimalware solutions.

Figure 1: IBM BigFix Ecosystem Partners

Enabling Collaborative Defense at the Endpoint

Cybercriminals are effectively collaborating to target IT infrastructures, and security teams are struggling to keep pace. Traditional security practices are unsustainable because there are too many nonintegrated tools for understaffed IT security departments to manage. To keep up, IT organizations must collaborate, both internally across teams and externally, to share best practices and lessons learned. Integrated endpoint ecosystems enable collaborative defense to strengthen endpoint security and optimize ROI.

Watch the on-demand webinar: How Collaboration (or Lack Thereof) Affects Your Endpoints

Teresa Worth

Portfolio Product Marketing Manager - Endpoint Security (BigFix)

Teresa Worth is the Portfolio Product Marketing Manager for Endpoint Security (BigFix) at IBM. She brings over 20 years...