Endpoint management is a simple concept that’s become more complex over time. Initially, it was about provisioning and managing the computers and devices that people use in your organization in the bring your own device (BYOD) and mobile computing era. Then the Internet of Things (IoT) made things far more complex. And now perimeter security is being replaced by zero trust. The evolution of endpoint management is one of tackling increasing complexity.
In today’s complex world, you need a great unified endpoint management (UEM) solution.
This didn’t use to be the case. In the past, UEM, MDM and EMM were all separate worlds of tools, practices and policies. But in recent years they’re merging into a single area in the UEM category.
Of course, zero trust is a methodology, architecture and even a mindset — not a technology or specific set of tools. But UEM is strongly associated with zero trust because that approach calls for managing many aspects of all devices in the organization at a massive scale.
Here Comes the Zero Trust Imperative
It’s a cliche to suggest that zero trust replaces perimeter security, but this is somewhat misleading on two counts. First, it’s not really about trust, per se. You may ‘trust’ any specific employee, or their device, but they still don’t get access without proper authentication. A perimeter still exists, and that perimeter is every endpoint. In other words, for attackers, every endpoint is a door. The zero trust approach makes sure every door stays locked. The person knocking on that door has to prove they are an authorized user using authorized software on an approved device. The security dimension of UEM is, in essence, the process of watching those doors at scale.
That idea is conceptually simple. But watching the door really means making sure the lock is up to date and configured correctly, that the activity around that door looks normal, that any abnormal activity is investigated and that…