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Intelligence at the Edge: Day One of Tanium Converge 2020

The world has changed in so many ways over the past 12 months. Today, we’re living through a rapid adjustment to intensive digital disruption, mass remote work, cloud everywhere, zero trust, and escalating cyber risk.

The endpoint is at the center of this new world. And Tanium is focused on bringing greater visibility and control to the devices and data at those endpoints at the edge of the network. 

Converge 2020 is our opportunity to show how we’re bringing greater intelligence to increasingly distributed networks to help organizations transform their IT operations, security, and risk management.

Day One of Converge got off to a great start. We heard from Tanium co-founder and CEO Orion Hindawi about his vision for the future of the company. He also discussed our new Salesforce partnership with Salesforce Executive Vice President and General Manager Sarah Franklin. Then Peter Constantine, Tanium chief product officer, detailed our product developments, roadmap and partnerships. 

From there, Howard Boville, senior vice president of IBM Hybrid Cloud and former CTO of Bank of America, discussed the challenges and opportunities of the cloud. Finally, retired General Keith Alexander, the former head of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, spoke about why companies like Tanium hold the key to national security.  

Why 85 percent isn’t good enough

Thanks to technology advances, we all benefit from instant information across customers, employees, and finances — driving agility, insights, and growth. However, in IT operations and cybersecurity, it’s a different story. 

Most companies have become used to 85 percent complete data, which may be months old. This might have sunk closer 50 percent in the new work-from-home reality of today. It’s the reason audit failures happen, breaches occur, and huge initiatives for IT service management improvements fail to work as promised.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. As Hindawi said in his opening remarks, “We’re here today because we know we need to get better.”

Getting better means you need to see where the gaps are in real time and to ensure the operating systems and applications on your devices are up-to-date. You also need to move to the cloud with confidence and be able to manage remote work the same as when most employees were in your offices. And you need to be able to do this easily and quickly on thousands or even millions of endpoints. This is the Tanium difference.

The future of your workforce

Salesforce’s Franklin joined Hindawi to discuss the rapidly maturing partnership between her company and Tanium. The new employee service platform built by Tanium and Salesforce is already helping customers like Walmart maximize IT productivity, enhance the employee support experience, and accelerate incident resolution. 

As Sarah explained, this new platform was born out of the learnings of Salesforce and Tanium in adapting to the rapid shift to mass remote work in the early days of the pandemic. It’s our answer to replacing manual, archaic IT processes of old with something more proactive, reliable and automated — something that will empower employees to do their best work, even as that work itself undergoes fundamental changes. 

As Hindawi mentioned, we’re also looking to our joint customers to help us shape the future of this product, so please contact your Tanium or Salesforce representatives to learn more and provide your perspective.

The evolution of the Tanium platform

In Constantine’s keynote, he detailed our Endpoint Identity announcement, which allows identity access management providers to use Tanium data to validate user and device status — driving value for zero-trust environments. 

He also explained how Tanium Impact and Tanium Enforce will help tackle challenges around detection of lateral movement and policy and configuration management, respectively. 

Then he discussed Tanium as a Service: A new cloud-native, zero-infrastructure version of the Tanium platform created to bring far greater speed and efficiency in how organizations deploy and use Tanium.

Constantine said we’re looking forward to the launch of Tanium Risk next year to help our customers identify, contextualize, and remediate security and operational issues more effectively. He wrapped up talking about how our recent deals with Google Cloud and Salesforce will help our mutual customers bring greater visibility, control and security to their operations in the age of the endpoint.

Transitioning to the cloud

Cloud seems to be everywhere today, but large enterprises and governments are still only at about 10 percent cloud adoption, and even then only for non-mission critical workloads. However, the pandemic has accelerated the plans of many organizations, according to Boville from IBM.

Boville explained in his keynote that we’re now entering Chapter Two of the story, which will mean a focus on open, hybrid cloud architectures from multiple providers. 

To maximize the potential business and IT value from such investments, organizations will need a laser focus on security and compliance, which IBM is building into its cloud offerings. 

But to do that well, organizations must understand the physical and logical assets they own, and how applications interoperate. That’s why IBM is building a strong partnership with Tanium to help business and IT leaders make the most of the transition to the cloud.

National security and digital defense 

The final keynote of the day was with retired General Alexander. Alexander explained how Cyber Command was originally founded: After a significant cyberattack by Russian state entities in 2008, the government created this new organization to better focus U.S. digital defenses. 

He said protecting against cyberattacks is becoming increasingly difficult. He warned that the landscape is much changed today, thanks to an explosion of endpoints, data, and IT systems—and will continue to evolve rapidly in the coming era of 5G, the cloud, and other innovations.

Alexander argued that the key to defending national digital infrastructure and resources will be public-private partnerships that tap the knowledge, capacity, and expertise of companies like Tanium — which serves all six branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

It won’t be easy, he said, but through closer collaboration and practice, the U.S. can get ahead of tomorrow’s threats before they cause significant harm. That is certainly the key for any organization in this age of the endpoint.

Stay tuned for our Day Two roundup of Converge 2020!

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