With hybrid working not only commonplace but now widely desirable, organisations across all industries must adapt their traditional on-site model of device management to one which is optimised for remote working without compromising on security.
Ahead of his session at our Digital Revolution³ virtual event, Chinwike Onyia, Content+Cloud’s Endpoint Management and Security Lead Architect, discusses ways that you can optimise device and endpoint management, while establishing and improving security measures to protect your business and employees alike.
One of the starkest lessons learned from Covid was the lack of preparedness of almost all organisations for any event which upset their daily routine. A catastrophic pandemic which slammed the door shut on office working meant that business as usual came to sudden halt.
Entire industries are now urgently taking stock of their business strategy and their preparedness for the next pandemic-scale event – be it medical as in 2020, or technical such as a total loss of company data.
Since the pandemic, we have seen businesses totally re-strategising. They need to know precisely how their information can be accessed securely from multiple locations on a regular basis and whether adopting a cloud-based model could safeguard their future.
The digital imperative highlights a non-negotiable need to normalise hybrid and remote collaboration. Every organisation embracing modern working approaches requires a fast and reliable network to connect people and places securely.
The focus is now on business continuity and sustainability, and how device endpoint security and management can help deliver these. The following provides a clear pathway to optimising your device and endpoint management and security through utilising existing knowledge, examining ways to streamline expenses, and employing an agile yet proactive security policy for you and your people.
Knowing your userbase for remote work and security
A common problem which organisations face, often without even being aware of it, is a fundamental lack of understanding of their workload.
Insight into your userbase is an essential component of optimising your endpoint security and management – what kind of applications do your people need and what devices should they use? – since answering these questions allows you to select the best platform to succeed in your journey to the cloud.
For instance, understanding the differing needs of knowledge users, power users and developers is a big step forward in creating a clear and agile workload.
Optimising endpoint security and management
Once your userbase and workload are understood, optimisation continues by getting best value from your digital investment.
Working with a platform such as Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), which offers scalability to match your demands, means organisations don’t waste resources on applications they don’t need and software they don’t use. The scalability of cloud computing allows you to provision agile and quickly responsive devices, which is essential to sustainability.
Selecting the correct endpoint and structure for your organisation is key. While AVD is often the answer, there are a variety of options which offer a modern endpoint security and management solution. In addition to AVD (both multiple and single desktops), Windows 365 and Intune can both be adapted to fit specific needs.
For example, a charity with many volunteers may find that Windows Virtual Desktop provides the ability to introduce many short-term licences and switch user permission as needed. For a large corporation whose staff take devices away from the office, Intune could be the optimal solution to ensure that applications and data are protected. If you’re unsure what solution is right for you, we can help you explore your options.
Cost saving with zero touch deployment
Organisations are beginning to see the benefits of automatically provisioning programs and applications for an entire operating system without any IT interaction.
Before zero touch deployment, every device in an organisation required manual intervention from IT personnel before they could be used. The more specific the user need, the more time this preparation took.
With more and more staff working away from the office, zero touch deployment offers a totally hands-off method of installing applications and settings across all company devices.
The gains from this are clear:
- your people can begin working straight away without the need for IT intervention;
- device management is streamlined immediately with new applications and licenses deployed through the cloud;
- cost savings will add up as employees can focus on higher-priority tasks.
Remote work and security: agile working with uncompromised security
Approaches to user devices and company policy is shifting dramatically, with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) becoming a regular part of working life. To accommodate this change, organisations must move from a ‘trusting all devices’ on-site model to a zero-trust model in a timely and smooth manner.
A zero-trust model ultimately protects and therefore enables an agile working approach, but it requires a security-first mindset. You’ll need to be confident that you know the identity of your users, that the sources of their connections are compliant, and that high-risk locations are rejected to protect data.
To ensure this seamless transition, mobile application management and mobile device management are essential to provide a secure working space. Microsoft Defender Application Guard and Device Guard are just two features which prevent old and newly emerging threats, blocking harmful connections and rejecting non-compliant devices to increase employee productivity and security. Similarly, unified endpoint security provides an additional layer of protection, offering anti-virus functionality, disk encryption, endpoint detection and response, and attack surface reduction. All of this adds up to a holistic proactive defence against common and unique threat actors.
Additionally, operational costs can be optimised by consolidating licences into a holistic Microsoft solution.
An organisation may, for example, have Microsoft 365 E5 licences but still be paying to use McAfee or Norton for their device protection. By utilising Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, which is built into the package and optimised for device security within the Microsoft ecosystem, the benefits of remote working can be realised in tandem with ensuring every device is queried and compliant.
How Content+Cloud can optimise your endpoint security and management
Proactive device and endpoint management is at the heart of business strategy for the forward-focused organisations. Security which evolves to meet emerging threats as well as existing ones is essential for peace of mind and continued safety, paired with an all-encompassing management system for your devices.
Content+Cloud Managed Device offers a bespoke solution to keep users connected and organisations safe. Similarly, our Managed Azure Virtual Desktop service applies security baselines and compliance across the entire platform – if you’d like to know more about this service, contact us.
With economic factors meaning cost/benefit analyses are more crucial than ever, Content+Cloud’s detailed discovery phase allows us to map out the optimal solution for every organisation. Working with us puts you at ease knowing that our ability to expertly deliver a full range of Microsoft services is much more cost effective than managing a raft of individual services internally.
As one of the first companies to work with Microsoft on Windows 365, Azure Virtual Desktop and Microsoft advisory channels for endpoint management, identity and security, we can look at endpoints in the broader sense of your technology and ecosystem and can offer a detailed analysis of the best solution for you.
Sign up for more insights at our Digital Revolution³ on-demand virtual event
Join Chinwike and his fellow subject matter experts as they offer vital insights into device and endpoint management and the importance of a security-first approach, together with what the digital imperative means for you and the entire global workforce.