Security threats are growing, particularly phishing attacks via email, SMS or hyperlinks. Phishing attempts have grown 95 percent in the last year and currently account for 90 percent of all data breaches.
According to Eric Knorr, Editor-in-Chief of CSO, unpatched software and social engineering (phishing) represent the highest risk in most organizations, followed by password cracking and software misconfiguration.
“Cut through political and operational barriers to ensuring prompt patching, establish an effective security awareness program, train your ops folks to lock down configurations, and put two-factor authentication in place…and you’ll reduce your overall risk by a magnitude,” he advises.
According to Verizon's 2019 Mobile Security Index report, two-thirds of organizations said they are less confident about the security of their mobile assets than other devices. Many of these breaches occur due to vulnerable devices, servers and applications that allow bad actors to gain access. Security breaches and the threat of compromise are a serious issue for organizations of all sizes.
Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), a comprehensive strategy for monitoring and securing all enterprise endpoints, provides a centralized policy engine for managing and securing corporate laptops and mobile devices from a single console. Essentially, UEM represents the next generation of device management, encompassing mobile device management (MDM), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and other client management platforms.
If security breaches can result because of the failure to install and configure the right software on employees’ devices, including the need to patch vulnerabilities in a timely manner, stronger controls are needed. As such, automating the distribution of software and apps has emerged as a significant area of opportunity for many organizations.
Rather than installing apps manually, or relying on employees to do it, IT professionals can rely on their UEM solution to seamlessly handle the distribution process.
Let’s have a look at some reasons why automated software distribution makes sense for all employees and delivers value to the organization.
Ensure Device Security
By having full, centralized control over which applications can be installed and configured on devices, IT can improve device security and the organization’s overall security posture.
Installing an application to a computer requires administrative privileges. When an application is deployed through a UEM solution, the installation is done under administrative privileges regardless of the level of privileges the end user has. End users do not need to have administrative privileges on their computers, which means that they are not able install unwanted applications.
This increased security becomes important when a company maintains devices shared by a number of different employees (think of an iPad POS device in a retail store or rugged devices used by field technicians). In this scenario, all of the users of the shared computer are able to use only the allowed applications installed by administrators and no one can install unwanted applications that may cause issues on the computer, perhaps distracting the work of other users on the shared device.
Increase Productivity and Improve User Experience
Because apps are installed and configured remotely on their devices, employees can work more efficiently. They do not have to worry about obtaining access to the important apps they need to get work done, including versions or licensing—IT handles it all for them remotely and often on short notice.
Administrators can install all required applications to a new computer before handing the computer over to the end user. This way the end user receives a computer that has all of the necessary applications already installed.
User experience matters and leads to higher productivity, according to Knowledge@Wharton. When employees do not have to concern themselves with configuring their apps or device settings, they can focus more intently on their work.
Keeping track of all software on employees’ devices can be challenging and complex. The UEM solution helps IT monitor all software, versions, licenses and dependencies, removing complexity.
By using software distribution features, IT admins can automate app deployments with business policies, defining which apps that can be used on the company devices and then distribute the needed software to end users’ devices. Along with full reporting, IT can stay on top of all apps on all devices.
Having a software distribution capability as a part of UEM solution may also remove the dependency on other software deployment tools.
Automating the delivery of critical apps offers companies the ability to comply with any regulatory or internal requirements for the securing of IT systems against possible malware or unauthorized intrusions. Automated software distribution can help companies of all sizes ensure that their managed devices stay compliant with data privacy laws like HIPAA and GDPR.
Healthcare providers and local governments operate under strict data privacy laws. When choosing vendors, such organizations often request proof of compliance or demonstration of security measures. Automated software distribution can deliver a substantial benefit for companies to ensure that their devices are under control and meet compliance requirements for healthcare and government customers or business partners.
For companies harnessing the power of UEM, automated software distribution can make an impact on the organization’s productivity while easing the headaches for IT. The need for stronger security to fight phishing scams and data breaches may serve as the driving factor in adopting UEM, but increased efficiency and better business outcomes are the result.