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Data breach doorways: Are you handing out keys to cyber burglars?

Would you feel safe if 1,000 people had a key to your house? How about 10,000?

Well, no homeowner would ever do that, right? But some businesses do it every day—maybe even yours.

How many laptops are in your organization? How many desktops? How many servers? Don’t worry if you don’t know the number right off the top of your head because the answer is pretty much the same for every business of any reasonable size: A lot. Just like a homeowner handing out hundreds of keys to the front door, each of those endpoints provides entry into the infrastructure of your organization. You don’t have to imagine the damage that could occur from an online burglar either—a quick web search will reveal the consequences other organizations have experienced from online attacks: losses ranging from trade secrets to stolen customer information to damaged reputations.

But laptops, desktops and servers aren’t your only risks. By 2015, two-thirds of the workforce will own a smartphone and 40% of the workforce will be mobile. But even with those staggering numbers, fewer than half of all companies have a mobile strategy. Whether we like it or not, we live in a BYOD world. The upside: The huge increase in productivity. The downside: The huge increase in security risk.

A homeowner who finds out strangers may have keys to the front door can simply change the locks. But for an organization, that’s not the case—not only do you have a vibrant diversity of endpoints to keep secure, you’ve also got to consider the multitude of different operating systems, apps, content running on them.

That’s a lot of unlocked front doors. But there’s also good news.

Recently, Gartner published Magic Quadrants for Client Management Tools[1] and Enterprise Mobility Management Suites [2] In each assessment, IBM was named a leader for their products IBM Endpoint Manager and IBM MaaS 360—we believe it’s because the combined solution provides organizations a way to manage any device, in any location, at any time, so IT managers can find and fix problems in minutes. In essence, you get a way to lock every potential door into your organization in a way that’s fast, simple, and secure.

Believe it or not, Gartner also tells us that 75% of mobile security breaches will be the result of mobile application misconfiguration[3], which makes unified endpoint management more crucial than ever in an increasingly complex mobile world. Effective management balances a number of factors including employee productivity and satisfaction, continuous security compliance and risk, and cost of mobile integration. Here are some thought starters you should consider when implementing a unified endpoint management strategy:

Develop a robust security policy. The security perimeter lines are disappearing. The office and work-day is no longer tied to a physical and strict time but bleeds into all aspects of an employee’s life, so addressing security concerns does not come in a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to critically and holistically think about building a tailored blueprint to protect your data, and ensure that employees understand it—especially since an employee can connect to the corporate network via a number of varying personal and corporate owned endpoints.

Remember you have more than one front door. Consider the range of devices accessing corporate information. A genuinely comprehensive approach will be both device and platform agonistic—meaning, it will give you a way to seamlessly manage the vibrant diversity of both devices and operating systems that have become a reality in today’s business world.

Think about the Cloud. Business moves quickly—that means you need to, as well. A solid approach to finding the right solution for your needs would be to identify one that’s offered both on premise and on the Cloud, so you can choose the right one for both your business need and targeted outcome.

IBM offers a one-of-a-kind Unified Endpoint Management solution that provides real time visibility and control over all endpoints—from servers to smartphones—so you can find and fix problems in minutes, no matter what the size of your organization. Use one management server to handle 25 or 250,000 devices and it doesn’t matter if they’re all running the same or different OS or where they are located. Now you can securely manage the diversity of mobile (applications, content, and the devices themselves) and other endpoints and lock every potential front door to virtual burglars. Anything else isn’t worth it.

Learn more - Any device. Any location. Any time.

1 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tool, Kevin Knox & Terrence Hargrove, 22 May, 2014

2 Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites, Terrence Cosgrove, Rob Smith, Chris Silva, Bryan Taylor, John Girard, &Monica Basso, 3 June, 2014

3 “Gartner Says 75 Percent of Mobile Security Breaches Will Be the Result of Mobile Application Misconfiguration.” Gartner, May 2014.

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