There is a simple reason why organizations have recently experienced so many new vulnerabilities and gaps. Over the past year, organizations have transformed their endpoint environment, yet continue to manage and secure their new environments using legacy tools designed for legacy environments.
What has changed in the modern endpoint environment?
Historically, terminal environments were relatively small, static, and predictable. They were full of IT-provisioned endpoints that lived on premises.
But over the past year, organizations:
- It moved from a largely local environment to a largely distributed workforce. According to the Pew Research Center findings, 71% of employees have continued to do most of their work at home all or most of the time, compared to just 20% before the pandemic.
- Dissolved its perimeters. Organizations spent more than a decade developing an in-depth defense around their local workforce. However, that perimeter was only designed to manage and secure the endpoints within its walls and became largely ineffective as soon as users and their endpoints left the office.
- It flooded your environment with new endpoints, data, and connections. After COVID-19, according to recent research by Statistica, organizations increased their volume of heavily used devices by 11%, increased the volume of sensitive information 62% stored on their devices and 176% more collaboration apps adopted.
Despite making these major changes to their environments, many organizations continue to manage and secure your endpoints using legacy tools that were designed for your previous environments, with unfortunate results.
Why You Can’t Apply Legacy Tools to Modern Environments
To be clear, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with legacy endpoint tools. Yesterday’s endpoint tools worked fine in yesterday’s endpoint environment.
But when these tools are applied to today’s environment, they typically fail to perform critical endpoint management and security tasks. Specifically, these tools fail at some critical points:
They cannot easily manage and protect large and evolving environments full of distributed endpoints.
Most legacy tools are based on a hub and spoke architecture that requires dozens or hundreds of intermediate servers to perform simple endpoint security and administration tasks. This structure prevents them from scaling quickly alongside rapidly changing networks and forces them to consume a large amount of bandwidth to scan and apply security controls to large, distributed networks. Organizations typically don’t have this bandwidth to spare, leading to visibility gaps and low levels of compliance with simple controls.
They can’t deliver the endpoint data organizations need when they need it. Most legacy tools use centralized data collection and instrumentation. Whenever they want to analyze endpoint data, they must first pull all that data from the network and store it in a central repository. But today’s sprawling terminal environments produce more data than legacy tools can quickly centralize. With legacy tools, organizations can no longer collect, store, and analyze endpoint data in a usable way, and must make endpoint management and security decisions based on limited and outdated data sets.
These tools make endpoint management and security unnecessarily complex and expensive. Most of the legacy tools were designed to solve a single specific problem. This design typically forces organizations to adopt a new one-time tool each time they bring a new type of asset or vulnerability into their environment. These point tools don’t work well together and create increasing complexity. Ponemon’s Cyber Resilience Study recently found that 63% of security teams spend more time managing their tools than fighting threats, and 53% believe that their excess volume of tools is actually worsening their security posture. .
These are not small points of failure. They suggest a fundamental mismatch between legacy tools and modern environments.
The problems that legacy tools are creating
To see how this fundamental mismatch is developing in the real world, we surveyed hundreds of technology leaders about their endpoint management and security tools and how they were
running. We learned that:
- Tech leaders have dozens of endpoint tools. The majority of technology leaders (70%) use 11 to more than 50 tools to manage and protect their endpoints. Almost half (46%) use more than 20 tools and 20% use more than 30 tools. Four percent of those surveyed do not know how many tools they are using.
- Those tools are not effective. Many technology leaders don’t collect the accurate, real-time security data they need to assess and reduce their risk. Respondents said their three most challenging tasks related to risk were gaining real-time visibility into data (88%), combining data from legacy infrastructure on premises and in the cloud (79%), and getting accurate data (77 %).
- It’s time for modern new endpoint tools. More than half of respondents (53%) are somewhat or extremely likely to rethink their point tools and consolidate their endpoint management and security tools in 2021. Additionally, 59% of respondents believe that their legacy on-premises infrastructure represents a great challenge for managing distributed endpoints, and 62% believe IT should modernize these tools and move endpoint capabilities to the cloud.
- Legacy tools cannot manage or protect today’s new environments. They are creating problems that are contributing, if not directly causing, the increased gaps and vulnerabilities that we have seen over the past year.
Modernization doesn’t have to be complicated. Technology leaders simply need to replace their legacy endpoint tools with modern endpoint tools designed to perform management and security in today’s new environments.
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