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What Is Endpoint Management? MDM, EMM, and UEM

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What is Endpoint Management Software?

Endpoint management software products help organizations keep track of the devices they own, ensure they have a hardened configuration, and ensure they are only running software that is secure and up to date. Endpoint management solutions perform asset management, patch management, and compliance assessment. They are a key part of endpoint security , allowing organizations to improve device security and prevent unauthorized access to a corporate network.

Common types of endpoint management solutions are Mobile Device Management (MDM), Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), and Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). The first two categories are gradually replaced by UEM, a broader solution that allows organizations to manage all endpoints, both mobile and desktop, from one console.

Endpoint management has many features that overlap with vulnerability management products, yet it is a broader solution. Compared to vulnerability management, endpoint management adds the ability to perform device governance and compliance checks.

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How Does Endpoint Management Work?

Organizations achieve endpoint management by deploying software solutions that help discover and manage all devices in their IT environment. Endpoint management tools help ensure that firmware, operating systems, and applications running on them are up-to-date, secure, and are protected against failure and data loss.

An endpoint management solution provides visibility and control over the IT environment. It helps IT teams identify, troubleshoot and resolve IT incidents faster, to achieve higher system and service availability. Next-generation endpoint management solutions enable remote monitoring and management of a variety of physical and virtual devices including:

  • Traditional endpoints such as servers and workstations
  • SNMP-based network devices
  • Printers and other peripherals
  • Virtual machines and containers

Another aspect of endpoint management solutions is that they automate routine IT processes, allowing them to be controlled directly from the endpoint management UI. These processes include:

  • Software patch management
  • Remediation of IT incidents
  • Ensuring backup processes are running on endpoints
  • Deploying antivirus clients
  • Running scripted procedures on endpoints to standardize configurations and set policies

Some endpoint management tools can run agents in mobile apps, to extend automation capabilities to the mobile workforce.

What are Endpoint Management Policies?

Modern organizations manage a large number of endpoints and applications, and user permissions can be complex, making it difficult to apply permissions manually. There is a need for centralized endpoint security management policies, making it possible to apply one set of permissions across the entire organization.

With endpoint management policies, management can decide which types of devices and users can use what part of the network, which applications, or even specific capabilities within applications. Administrators can allow or deny access for specific network segments, workloads, and applications for specific user groups.

Endpoint management solutions, described in the following section, can help organizations implement these policies across a large fleet of endpoint devices.

There are three common types of endpoint security policies:

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)—a policy that defines how employees can use their personal devices for work purposes. BYOD devices cannot be subjected to the same level of security restrictions as company-owned devices. A BYOD policy defines criteria for accepting a BYOD device, and what level of access it will have to enterprise systems.
  • Privileged Access Management (PAM)—a policy that defines and controls administrative accounts and users with privileged access to sensitive systems, with the goal of reducing identity-based attacks and unauthorized access. A key part of PAM is the ability to grant just-in-time access to sensitive systems for maintenance, and revoke it afterwards.
  • Zero Trust—zero trust security ensures that all connections are authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated. Zero trust policies define what users should be allowed to access which systems, and grant or deny access in a flexible manner depending on the security context. For example, access may be denied if the user tries to connect at an unusual time or from an unknown location.

Types of Endpoint Management Solutions

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is software solution that enables IT administrators to control, secure, and enforce policies for company owned smartphones, tablets, and other endpoints. Its goal is to protect the corporate network while optimizing the functionality and security of mobile devices.

In recent years, MDM has expanded its focus from smartphones to tablets, Windows 10 and macOS computers, and some Internet of Things (IoT) devices. When MDM is used to manage desktop or other non-mobile devices, it is called Unified Endpoint Management (UEM).

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is the evolution of Mobile Device Management (MDM). It lets organizations securely use mobile devices and applications. EMM software can be used both to manage company-owned devices and personal devices used under bring your own device (BYOD) policies. EMM not only improves security but also increases productivity, by increasing the range of devices and applications companies can offer their employees.

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The Dark Side of EDR

  • 7 key considerations when evaluating EDR solutions
  • Learn about the dark sides of EDR for small teams
  • Explore associated costs: direct and intangible

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is a way to secure computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets in a cohesive way and manage them from a single console. UEM typically relies on integration with Mobile Device Management (MDM) APIs in mobile and desktop operating systems.

Common capabilities of UEM solutions include the ability to push updates to devices, apply security policies to devices across the organization, remote wiping for lost or stolen devices, and a portal that allows users to register devices used under BYOD policies.

Some UEM solutions provide additional capabilities:

  • Allow administrators to push corporate applications to managed devices
  • Provide a corporate app store that allows users to download apps directly
  • Track end-user activity to detect and remediate security issues
  • Automatically manage data security and mobile content via analysis based on artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML)

Endpoint Security with Cynet

Cynet does not offer endpoint management solutions. However, it provides a complementary platform which can help you secure your organizational endpoints. Cynet’s endpoint security capabilities include:

  • NGAV —providing automated prevention and termination of malware, exploits, Macros, LOLBins, and malicious scripts with machine learning based analysis.
  • User Behavioral Analytics (UBA) —detecting and preventing attacks using compromised credentials through the use of behavioral baselines and signatures.
  • Deception technology —planting fake credentials, files and connections to lure and trap attackers, mitigating damage and providing the opportunity to learn from attacker activity.
  • Monitoring and control —providing asset management, vulnerability assessments and application control with continuous monitoring and log collection.
  • Response orchestration —providing manual and automated remediation for files, users, hosts and networks customized with user-created scripts.

Learn more about the Cynet 360 AutoXDR security platform.

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