IT managers have their hands full when it comes to protecting all of the operating systems and applications that are being used in the workplace today.
Not only are attacks from malware and other threats increasing in sophistication and frequency, but the workplace environment is also getting more complex as an increasing amount of companies adopt bring your own device (BYOD) policies, allowing their employees to connect their personal mobile devices to the company network.
While this ability to be always connected from various endpoint devices is a convenience that allows workers to be productive from anywhere, the repercussion is that hackers and cybercriminals now also have more opportunities to exploit and launch attacks on vulnerable endpoints, which makes IT security more complicated than ever before.
“In this changing environment, traditional endpoint security does not cut it anymore. IT personnel have to keep a lot of balls in the air now that endpoint devices have evolved beyond desktop machines only,” says Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution.
“Now it has changed from desktops only being connected to the company network, to laptops, tablets, and mobile phones – all of which can connect from anywhere. It is therefore also more crucial than ever before for companies of all sizes to have the necessary IT security measures in place to protect their data.”
How does this affect the IT channel partners such as the value-added resellers (VARs), distributors, agents, wholesalers and retailers?
“They have the responsibility to assist their customers in their efforts to maintain the security of all of their endpoint devices, and within both cloud and virtual environments,” explains Campbell-Young. “This means that their offerings have to evolve as well to keep up with customers’ changing security needs.”
These days, it is crucial for both virtual and physical servers to be included among those endpoint devices. According to a recent post on The VAR Guy’s blog, 94% of stolen data is nabbed from servers and two-thirds of security breaches occur on servers.
“Servers require specialised security measures, such as protection against reconfiguration changes. A server cannot simply be rebooted in the same way that you can reboot a laptop and desktop,” says Campbell-Young.
“Unlike other endpoint devices, servers have to remain available at all times, since downtime will affect the entire company. An inability to access applications and data will adversely affect productivity.”
Campbell-Young points out that the endpoint security market is a competitive one.
“To prevent their customers from defecting to a competitor, channel partners must offer protection tools for all types of computing systems and endpoint devices,” he suggests. “It will also behove them to offer value-added services and features such as encryption, system management tools and data protection.”