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Point Solutions Can't Protect You From Today’s Problems — Here’s Why You Need Converged Endpoint Management

Tanium delivers the industry’s first convergence of IT operations and security with a single integrated platform under a new category, Converged Endpoint Management (XEM)

Perspective

Ransomware attacks occur every 11 seconds despite organizations spending over $160B on cybersecurity this year. While security budgets are rising every year, and the threat of cyberattacks are top of mind, the vulnerability gap isn’t improving — it’s only growing. Do you ever wonder why this is such a high priority, which is getting more money and attention than ever, and yet the problem is only getting worse?

It’s because the approach our industry has been pushing is flawed. Every IT security and management provider offers only a small piece of the solution required to protect our environments. CIOs are forced to buy tens of these different solutions, stitch them together themselves and make decisions based on data that is stale, inaccurate, and incomplete. If the enterprise is large, the solutions often don’t scale to meet its needs.

To make things worse, all these different tools used to protect endpoints not only adversely impact performance and visibility — they also lead to silos. These tools are often deployed across different teams. One team manages security, while another is responsible for IT operations, and yet another for compliance. These silos make it difficult — if not impossible — to effectively stitch together a comprehensive picture of the environment in real time.

This isolated approach across different organizations is simply not working. We have no single source of truth, we have arbitrary organizational boundaries based on tool scope and limitations, and we have multiple vendor agents being deployed that actually create more noise and chatter. This just contributes to the lack of visibility.

The visibility gap isn’t closing — it’s growing. In fact, we have found that in 94% of the enterprises, up to 20% of all endpoints remain undiscovered and unprotected. It’s creating a massive hole for hackers to exploit.

So how do we solve this? Let’s focus on the basic protections the industry has known would work for decades, but most people have assumed were impossible to implement. Let’s use a single platform that can identify where all your data is, patch every device you own in seconds, implement critical security controls and do that all in a single pane of glass with a single control plane — a single platform that provides real time data and has real time impact. Let’s close the holes that attackers get through so that they can’t, rather than paper them over with “protection” tools that let them in.

We need an efficient, effective and unified way to address these new risks. We need a platform that protects against attacks where other solutions have failed. We need a single platform that bridges IT Operations and Security Management. And the new category of Converged Endpoint Management (XEM) gives us that solution.

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • Why you need a new approach to endpoint management
  • What XEM is and how it solves today’s biggest endpoint challenges
  • How Tanium has delivered XEM in real-world environments

Why you need a new approach to endpoint management

Digital transformation has accelerated. CIOs and CISOs now have millions of diverse, dynamic and globally distributed endpoints. Each endpoint introduces operational and security risk and must be seen, controlled and secured in real-time.

To do so, many CIOs and CISOs are using dozens of individual point tools. Each tool can only perform one task — often for just one endpoint category — and functions in a silo. Our industry’s approach to using more and more point solutions is structurally flawed. Because despite investing heavily in these tools, most CIOs and CISOs cannot quickly and accurately answer basic questions about their endpoints, including:

  • How many endpoints do I have?
  • What applications are running on each of my endpoints?
  • Are my endpoints and applications fully patched and updated?
  • Do we have proper controls around admin access on all of our endpoints?

It goes back to the old industry saying, “You can’t protect what you can’t see.” But this phrase has new meaning in our diverse and distributed world.

Without the answers to these foundational questions, organizations will continue to struggle to manage their endpoints and defend against the largest attack surface in history.

CIOs and CISOs need a new way to manage and secure their endpoints.

XEM gives them just that.

Introducing Converged Endpoint Management (XEM)

XEM is a new category of endpoint management and security solutions delivered by the Tanium platform. Converged solutions solve the technology problem so companies can focus on the organizational problem. Converged solutions should transcend technology — they need to enable a business solution.

Converged solutions unite tools and data into one unified solution. A converged solution is a system that enables convergence: it acts as the backbone for all crucial interactions between data, tools and teams to take place.

It lives at the intersection of the domains in IT Operations, Security and Risk Management. Converged solutions appeal to a wide range of users, enabling IT leaders and employees to collaborate.

To do so, Tanium’s converged platform focuses on delivering three core outcomes.

  1. Visibility. It generates complete, accurate and real-time visibility into every managed or unmanaged endpoint in your network.
  2. Control. It lets you take critical actions across your cloud, on-premises or hybrid estate in seconds with minimal network impact.
  3. Trust. It aligns your teams by giving you a single source of truth composed of complete, high-fidelity endpoint data from across your estate.

Tanium’s converged platform delivers these outcomes by taking a fundamentally new approach that rethinks how IT security and operations tools work. The industry has always known that the solution was a single platform that could identify all your data, patch every device, implement critical controls, and do it all from a single pane of glass. People assumed it was impossible to implement. Until now.

  • Consolidate every critical endpoint management and security point tool into one unified platform that runs off a single, lightweight agent.
  • Collect and distribute accurate, real-time data from millions of endpoints in seconds — no matter how dynamic, distributed and complex the network is.
  • Detect signs of exploitation, find indicators of every vulnerability, and remediate and harden defenses on the endpoint.
  • Combine IT operations and security under a single pane of glass, a single source of truth, a unified set of controls, and a common taxonomy.
  • Fit on the operating system (OS) of the smallest chips, consume minimal resources and bandwidth, and run at scale without disrupting business operations.

The result: With Tanium’s converged platform, CIOs and CISOs gain the data they need to answer questions about their network and protect their critical data and endpoints.

How Tanium delivers XEM in real-world environments

None of this is theory. Many of the world’s largest and most demanding organizations use Tanium’s converged platform to keep their endpoints secure and operational — at all times. Here are a few real-world examples.

Raytheon Technologies uses Tanium’s converged platform to manage and secure its worldwide computing infrastructure. Using Tanium, they brought 40,000 global endpoints under management and security in less than three weeks.

As their Senior Compliance Manager, Paul Blaha, explains, “We’re more secure because of Tanium. We’re more agile because of Tanium. And we can respond to incidents a lot faster because of Tanium.”

AutoNation uses Tanium’s converged platform to improve its endpoint hygiene and security. Using Tanium, they can deploy patches across their entire estate in minutes, and they have achieved and maintained 99% patch efficacy.

As their CISO, Ken Athanasiou, explains, “SCCM would take sometimes an hour or two just to deploy a package to a user’s machine. Now we can type in that machine and deploy in minutes. That’s how the operations team here at AutoNation got onboard.”

Finally, VITAS Healthcare uses Tanium to create a single source of truth for their endpoints and software and as a control center for critical IT operations and security activities. Using Tanium, they updated 99% of their employees’ computers in two months, and Tanium paid for itself within the first six months of deployment.

As their Senior Manager of Client Engineering, Mitch Teichman, explains, “We now live in complete harmony when it comes to reporting with the security team. It’s a beautiful thing. The numbers we see are the same numbers they see.”

You can achieve these same outcomes and more using Tanium’s converged platform. By unifying critical IT operations and security capabilities, these solutions can drive most of your endpoint-based use cases for most of your roles, including:

  • CIOs can patch, update and properly configure their endpoints.
  • CISOs can investigate and respond to threats in real-time.
  • Infrastructure teams can scope cloud migrations in weeks (not years).
  • Procurement teams can see if they’re licensing software they don’t need.
  • Data custodians can find and remove sensitive data at scale.
  • Auditors can track if a company complies with its regulations and compliance.

In sum: Tanium’s converged platform can solve most — if not all — of your network’s core operations and security challenges. It’s time to evolve to XEM.

Is Tanium’s converged platform right for your organization?

To see if Tanium’s converged platform can improve your endpoint performance and security, ask yourself:

  1. What is my current endpoint visibility level? Is it more or less than 90%?
  2. What percentage of my endpoints are fully patched and updated right now?
  3. What applications are running on my endpoints, and how are they being used?
  4. Do we have proper security and access configurations set on every endpoint?
  5. How well do my IT operations, security, risk and compliance teams work with each other?
  6. How many tools does it take to provide visibility, deploy patches, and address critical vulnerabilities? And how much does is cost to license and operate all these point tools?

If you aren’t happy with your answers, take the next steps with Tanium.

Tanium Staff

Tanium’s village of experts co-writes as Tanium Staff, sharing their lens on security, IT operations, and other relevant topics across the business and cybersphere.