Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Gopala Krishna Behara

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Cloud Security, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

Endpoint Device Management By @Kevin_Jackson | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Protecting the enterprise front door

Mobility and cloud computing have combined to obliterate any so-called network security perimeter. Corporate data has now been let loose to roam in a world of cyber thieves, manipulators and untrusted infrastructure. What is a security professional to do?

According to Bill Odell, the Dell Vice President of Marketing for Endpoint Device Management, you need to protect the enterprise front door. Since devices are the network's gateways, endpoint device management is now the key to protecting your enterprise data. That is why I was truly excited to speak with Bill at Dell Peak Performance in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Kevin Jackson: Bill, I am really honored to get some time on your schedule today. Could you please explain to my readers your role at Dell?

Bill Odell: First Kevin, thank you for interviewing me today. I run marketing for Dell end-point device management. We provide solutions that help our customers manage and secure anything from a laptop or a PC to their servers, mobile devices and smartphones. With the explosion of different networking devices our solutions have now expanded to include printers, IP phones, network switches or anything else that may come online in the future.

Jackson: Sounds like your day job is the Internet of Things. With the advent of this new vision of the Internet what has changed with respect to security on these new types of end points? I imagine the proliferation of network-connected devices is really driving new cybersecurity challenges.

Odell: That's exactly right, Kevin. Some have predicted that 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. That type of environment absolutely changes the way companies deal with security. Trying to lockdown a windows PC is bad enough, but now you need to worry about other operating systems. This realization has changed our opinion on what Dell needs to do. Today our solutions help customers securely operate in this new world by identifying and profiling devices when they join your network. Through a single pane of glass, our solution will tell you what devices are connected, where they are connecting from and if they are owned by the corporation. This really helps when people are free to connect their own personal device to the company network.

Jackson: You mentioned that Dell solutions can actually profile the end point devices. I imagine this is an important capability when dealing with events like the recent Windows 10 launch. As the different device types and operating systems proliferate, what is the number one cybersecurity challenge being faced by your customers and partners today?

Odell: Every endpoint is a point of attack. In fact, many of the recent well-known attacks have started from point-of-sale terminals attached to the network. That is why our solutions are built around delivering three important features.

First, we continually assess the network environment. This means not only knowing what devices are on the network but also their configuration. By comparing device configuration with the company standard, our software can immediately detect any changes or modifications. Users love to customize but a change may reduce the security of a device. To maintain a required security level, companies need to keep tight specifications and an ability to dynamically monitor device configurations is critical. Second, we scan for any outside intrusions. We do this dynamically on all connected devices. Third, we maintain a consistent patching regimen. This is an age-old defensive process but some customers simply lack the resources to keep this necessary activity up to date. I actually had a customer who serves as the CISO at a major university tell me that they didn't do anti-virus patching because attackers on the offense were simply faster than they were on the defense. This "drive-by malware" reality emphasizes the need for continuous patching on anti-virus and all your other application as well.

Dell integrated endpoint management solution

Jackson: Dell's portfolio sound very comprehensive and complete so how do you plan to improve it over the next 12 months?

Odell: Security is an ever moving target. A breach isn't a matter of "if" but of "when" so companies should focus on building up their ability to detect breaches ahead of time and hasten their breach response protocol when it occurs. That is exactly why Dell brings a broad portfolio to bear on this issue. Everything from Advance Threat Detection with SecureWorks and network protection with Sonicwall through endpoint protection with KACE and encryption down at the data level. The trickiest aspect of endpoint protection however, is the lack of configuration management APIs for non-standard network devices and operating systems. As those devices and operating systems become "smarter", we will update our software and solutions to further enable more dynamic and interactive endpoint management.

Jackson: We all look forward to those new capabilities. At Dell Peak Performance, we heard that enterprises have suffered over $600B in cybersecurity losses against just a $200B investment to protect against these losses. What should senior decision makers and IT professionals learn from this statistic?

Odell: This is a tough problem that requires constant vigilance and lack of endpoint security provides a major thoroughfare for these losses. The Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) recommended four mitigation strategies which, according to them, could prevent as much as 85 percent of targeted cyber-attacks. The four strategies are:

  1. the use of application whitelisting,
  2. patching of applications,
  3. patching of operating systems, and
  4. more restrictive administrative privileges.

All of these protective measures can be implemented through effective endpoint protection policy and enforcement. These strategies, originally developed by the Australian Government, were also endorse in May 2015 by the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). Endpoint device protection represent "table stakes" in this cybersecurity game. As time goes on, we will get better in the understanding of related analytics and in the recognition of threat patterns.

Jackson: I now envision you as a bouncer standing at the enterprise front door protecting it against that 85 percent of targeted cyber-attacks. What industry-specific insights have you learned while fulfilling that role?

Odell: From our business perspective, the top two industries are education and healthcare. Part of that is because our solutions are very comprehensive and at the same time, easy to use. In education, since school districts can't afford to give every student a laptop or tablet, "bring your own device" is the most important challenge. Much of the curricula and many tests are accessed using personal devices over the school network. We help educators securely leverage technology while maintaining an online environment that's also conducive to learning.

In healthcare we not only deal with regulatory issues around Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) but also aspects associate with smart patient monitoring devices connected to the hospital network. In that environment, we give hospital administrators an ability to inventory, locate and manage all of the hospital's patient care devices from a single console. We secure not only the device but the patient status data as well.

Jackson: In the not too distant future I may sport a Dell KACE managed pacemaker in my chest. So Bill, do you have any final comments or specific recommendations for corporate decision makers?

Odell: With the proliferation and explosion of smart devices and systems, decision makers must not forget about protecting their endpoint devices.

Jackson: In other words, protect that front door. Well, thank you, Bill for sharing your time with us today.

Odell: Thank you, Kevin. I enjoyed it.

This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

Cloud Musings

(Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2015)

More Stories By Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson, founder of the GovCloud Network, is an independent technology and business consultant specializing in mission critical solutions. He has served in various senior management positions including VP & GM Cloud Services NJVC, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and VP Program Management Office at JP Morgan Chase. His formal education includes MSEE (Computer Engineering), MA National Security & Strategic Studies and a BS Aerospace Engineering. Jackson graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979 and retired from the US Navy earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Airborne Logistics and Airborne Command and Control. He also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide. Kevin is the founder and author of “Cloud Musings”, a widely followed blog that focuses on the use of cloud computing by the Federal government. He is also the editor and founder of “Government Cloud Computing” electronic magazine, published at Ulitzer.com. To set up an appointment CLICK HERE

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...