As your business steadily adds new endpoints, such as smartphones, tablets and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, having a comprehensive solution for securing and managing them is critical. A unified endpoint management (UEM) solution can protect your business from attacks on those ever-expanding endpoints, but to realize its true value, you must understand its requirements.
Here's how your company can implement a unified approach to endpoint management.
Why unified endpoint management is important
According to Computerworld, UEM is a strategy for unifying and centralizing how companies manage the wide variety of devices they rely on. It is the most recent evolution in a category of solutions that originated with mobile device management, advanced with mobile application management and expanded to include enterprise mobility management. UEM is a comprehensive solution providing enterprise-wide management of any and every endpoint including mobile devices, desktop computers and IoT devices. A good unified endpoint management solution can secure mobile devices, apps, content and email—even entire mobile fleets. It can also protect your business against threats from mobile devices and apps, unsecured Wi-Fi and phishing attacks.
Centralized approaches to endpoint management are especially relevant now as the COVID-19 pandemic has broadened the remote workforce. Businesses are looking for ways to securely and effectively support the remote workforce, and UEM provides IT teams with a unified solution for accomplishing this goal.
Computerworld notes that Gartner changed its guidance on UEM in 2020. The industry analysis firm once considered UEM a key program to consider; now, it stresses that businesses should already have UEM projects underway.
Keys to a successful unified endpoint management rollout
When rolling out a UEM solution, keep a few key considerations in mind. First, know the endpoints you are protecting. If you have not performed an IT audit in a while, complete one now. That way, you will know how many and what kind of endpoints you have. If you are thinking about adding devices, make sure that your UEM strategy includes them, too.
While you're at it, perform an inventory of your critical business applications. Make sure that you know which apps are most essential to your employees and your business operations. And because your UEM solution will keep your devices and the software on them up to date, figure out whether any of your existing endpoints are running on outmoded operating systems or using outdated applications. Outdated or unpatched software is vulnerable to attack, which opens the door to costly and damaging network data breaches.
Consider which kind of data you most need to protect and how your UEM solution will safeguard it. If you are in a highly regulated industry, such as finance, banking or healthcare, you will want to make sure that your plan properly addresses any regulatory requirements for keeping business and customer data safe.
Take a moment, too, to review any network requirements that could affect your ability to deliver an effective UEM solution. How is your remote workforce connecting to company systems and resources? Are those connections as reliable and secure as they should be? If your existing connections suffer from latency or bandwidth issues, for example, you might need to upgrade your network before deploying your UEM solution.