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How The Pandemic Is Accelerating Endpoint Security’s Growth

  • 76% of enterprises increased their use of endpoint devices since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting their remote, work-from-home (WFH) and hybrid workforces globally.
  • 66% of enterprises believe securing their networks and infrastructure requires a more focused, proactive approach to endpoint resilience that doesn’t leave endpoint security to chance.
  • Cybersecurity leader’s top challenges today are maintaining compliance, enforcing security standards, and understanding the health of security controls on each endpoint.  
  • Just 38% of IT leaders can track the ROI of their cybersecurity investments, accentuating the need for more resilient, persistent endpoints that provide greater visibility and control.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Forrester Consulting’s latest study on endpoint security, Take Proactive Approach To Endpoint Security, completed in collaboration with Absolute Software. The study is noteworthy for its impartial, accurate view of the current state of endpoint security and the challenges IT teams face in creating greater endpoint resilience. The study’s methodology is based on 157 interviews with IT and security professionals located in the U.S. and Canada who are decision-makers in endpoint protection, with interviews completed in November and December 2020. 

Key insights from the study include the following:

  • Security leaders are reprioritizing endpoint automation efforts with a strong focus on sensitive or at-risk data. In 2021 automation efforts will focus on sensitive or at-risk data (60%), geolocation (52%), security control health (48%), web-based application usage (36%), patch management (35%), and hardware inventory (32%).  Each of these technologies is integral to supporting remote workers. There’s also a significant shift from how automation strategies were prioritized before the pandemic, as the graphic from the study below illustrates:
  • Maintaining compliance, enforcing security standards, understanding security controls’ health, and measuring security investments are the top challenges to managing endpoint security today. The majority of enterprises, 59%, cannot maintain or prove compliance of endpoints at any given time. Lack of compliance drags down the efficiency of endpoint security efforts, making an entire network more vulnerable. Just over half of enterprises can’t enforce security standards across endpoints or don’t know today’s health.  The most surprising finding of the study: 62% of enterprises cannot measure the ROI of their security investments – with half (31%) – strongly disagreeing with how measurable security ROI spend is.   
  • Enterprises see four key areas where endpoint management could improve today. Forrester asked enterprise IT and security leaders which capabilities need to be added to endpoint management systems to make them more effective. The executives first focused on securing sensitive and at-risk data, a sure sign enterprises are moving to a more data-centric cybersecurity model in the future. That’s good news as cyber attackers want to penetrate software supply chains and take control of systems managing data assets. Managing devices remotely at scale is second, which is also a frequent challenge IT and security teams encounter when attempting to patch endpoints. Having an unbreakable digital tether to devices is solving the scale issue while also providing greater endpoint resiliency, visibility, and control.

Conclusion

The pandemic forced every business to become more innovative in supporting work-from-home and hybrid work environments, improving endpoint security an immediate priority. What’s needed is an unbreakable digital tether to all devices, capable of delivering complete visibility and control, enabling real-time insights into the state of those devices, and allowing them to repair security controls and productivity tools autonomously. Of the many solutions available for securing endpoints today, the ones that take a firmware-embedded approach to secure endpoints are proving the most reliable. The more integrated an endpoint is to firmware, the more likely self-healing agents will be reliable while also providing complete visibility across every device on or off the network. Absolute’s firmware-embedded approach is noteworthy in its track record of securing endpoints during the pandemic.  

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