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Unified Endpoint Management: Going Beyond MDM

What is Unified Endpoint Management?

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is a comprehensive way to manage all of your organization’s endpoint devices, and ensure comprehensive endpoint security, from one central platform. 

Unified endpoint management solutions can perform security updates, patch management, automated hardware and software inventory tracking, logging, mobile device management, software and OS deployment, remote workstation control options, and licensing management. UEM is ideal for IT professionals who provide remote management and repair services for large numbers of devices. 

UEM typically builds on the Mobile Device Management (MDM) API for desktop and mobile operating systems, but adds an additional management and security layer above traditional MDM systems.

In this article, you will learn:

Unified Endpoint Management Features and Capabilities

Typical features of unified endpoint management include:

  • Endpoint management integration—runs on multiple platforms (Windows 10, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Linux, etc.) and configures, controls and monitors devices from a single management console. You can easily migrate from older platforms (e.g. Windows 7) to the latest version.
  • Protects corporate data and applications on any network—protects sensitive corporate data and applications, and configures network security with conditional user access, automatic rule enforcement, compliance guidelines, and data loss prevention measures. Can identify device jailbreaking and operating system rooting.
  • Desktop management modernization—simplifies deployment for desktop systems, and provides central policy management with improved application delivery and automatic patching. Administrators can track, review and report on content and applications on the endpoints.

Related content: read our guide to endpoint protection platforms

UEM Components

The main components of unified endpoint management platforms typically include:

Device Management

Device management connects devices to services via the MDM protocol. This protocol allows services to interact with the device remotely and send commands, queries, and configurations. The MDM protocol is built for the Internet, eliminating the need to deploy equipment on corporate networks or VPNs.

Here are common device management tasks:

  • Configuring encryption
  • Setting password policies
  • Managing operating systems and application updates
  • Setting Wi-Fi and VPN configuration
  • Defining email and other productivity accounts
  • Device location tracking
  • Locking, unlocking and wiping devices remotely
  • Configuring data loss prevention

Deployment and Enrollment

While traditional client deployments involved a labor-intensive device imaging process; the MDM protocol and UEM platforms provide a more convenient process.

You can manually enroll macOS, Apple iOS, Android, and Windows 10 devices into UEM through the UI (user interface). Additionally, these operating systems offer unique automatic enrollment and configuration processes. For example: Android Zero Touch Enrollment, Windows Autopilot, and Apple Automatic Device Enrollment.

When modern devices turn on for the first time, they typically log in using a cloud service. You can redirect corporate devices to the relevant UEM platform. This is an easy way to register new devices with UEM and configure them automatically. This process enables OEMs to directly ship devices to end users, because IT staff does not have to go through traditional imaging processes.

BYOD and Privacy

Many personally-owned iOS and Android devices are used for work purposes. This means corporate data and applications are placed on the device, alongside personal applications and data, creating security and privacy concerns. Over the years, UEM platforms capabilities have evolved specifically to address these concerns.

Many IT departments have discovered that lock-down policies are not effective for personal devices. Instead, they opted to use Mobile Application Management (MAM) to apply corporate policies to certain applications and data, while others are unchanged. This can be done with a special application connected directly to the UEM server, and even if the device itself is not registered, the operating system can be used to separate corporate and personal functions.

The UEM platform can also limit the role of administrators, preventing them from seeing or doing anything that could affect personal aspects of the device. Alternatively, the platform can assign a dedicated role for reviewing and controlling personal information.

UEM and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are used in UEM platforms in a number of ways. Depending on the application, vendors can train AI and ML models using data from individual users, individual customers, or an entire customer base.

AI and ML can provide recommendations for device management strategies and identify configuration exceptions, eliminating the need for administrators to manually create strategies. AI and ML can be used to identify abnormal behaviors and configurations in devices, users, or applications, and alert IT departments of anomalies. A notable example is access management processes, where UEM can identify anomalies in the way user access is configured, and automatically fine-tune authentication configuration.

What is the Difference Between UEM and Other Management Approaches Like MDM?

UEM is currently the cutting edge of endpoint management, replacing the legacy Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) standards, and other client management tools. UEM not only replaces these individual tools, but also consolidates management software into one platform.

MDM performs several security functions for mobile devices, including endpoint detection, identifying suspicious activity on the endpoint, and preventing undetected unauthorized users from accessing the network. MDM also includes management capabilities such as device enrollment, device lockout, location tracking, and remote control.

EMM takes MDM’s security features one step further, including mobile application management, mobile content management, and mobile information management.

The main difference between MDM/EMM and UEM is that UEM not only manages mobile devices, but can also extend protection to other endpoints such as printers, desktops, wearables and IoT devices, managing all enterprise endpoints from one central platform.

Unified Endpoint Protection: Prevention, Detection and Protection with Cynet 360

Cynet 360 is a security solution that includes a complete EPP offering, including NGAV, device firewall, advanced EDR capabilities and automated incident response. Cynet 360 is a complete security solution that goes beyond endpoint protection, offering network analytics, UEBA and deception technology. 

Cynet’s platform includes:

  • NGAV—blocks malware, exploits, LOLBins, Macros, malicious scripts, and other known and unknown malicious payloads.
  • Zero-day protection—uses User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) to detect suspicious activity and block unknown threats.
  • Monitoring and control—asset management, endpoint vulnerability assessments and application control, with auditing, logging and monitoring.
  • Response orchestration—automated playbooks and remote manual action for remediating endpoints, networks and user accounts affected by an attack.
  • Deception technology—lures attackers to a supposedly vulnerable honeypot, mitigating damage and gathering useful intelligence about attack techniques.
  • Network analytics—identifying lateral movement, suspicious connections and unusual logins.

Learn more about the Cynet 360 security platform. 

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