So, I was at Pulse this year and was the source of a pretty constant ridicule for carrying around what felt like a fifty pound laptop bag.
It was horrible, and inconvenient, and not even effective.
I had hard copies of schedules that were out of date about 30 seconds after I clicked print.
By the end of the conference I had calluses on my fingers and I couldn’t walk more than about ten steps without having to change hands.
It was really a constant reminder that I need to go to the gym more.
Anyway, interestingly enough, most vendors in the endpoint security space have basically adopted this same approach in designing their technology. Incoming attacks get blocked by signatures, and in order to keep you “prepared,” some companies just create and update these huge signature files, shoot them across the network, fold their hands and hope they get properly installed, and then get right back to work because the files they just sent are more or less immediately out of date. I can tell you from experience that lugging around a bulky bag of incomplete, outdated information is no way to do your job. It’s also no way to keep your employees, and by extension, your company, ahead of threats.
What companies need to do is focus on what a defense-in-depth of the endpoint would really look like. It means you need a lot of things. You need to have antivirus and firewall protection. You need a patch process that actually works. You need centralized policy management that is easily enforceable. And, of course, you need all of this in real-time. Until recently, that also meant you needed a lot of aspirin.
With its acquisition of BigFix last July, IBM basically invested in the convergence of security and systems management, two pieces of the operational infrastructure that will continue to become more intertwined. You can’t just write the policy, or obtain the patch, you also need to be confident that these changes and updates are continually being enforced at every single endpoint. Try automatically applying patches to computers that aren’t turned on and you’ll pretty quickly understand why convergence is so important.
Up until this week there were four offerings that were part of the Tivoli Endpoint Manager suite of products, all of which are managed under the same roof. We have solutions for lifecycle management, security and compliance, power management and patch management. This week, we were pleased to announce Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Core Protection, a solution designed to add another layer of depth to your endpoint security posture. Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Core Protection is the result of the relationship between IBM and Trend Micro, and offers the real-time, lightweight threat protection that other endpoint security solutions can’t really compete with.
I spoke earlier about how other vendors were sending these huge signature files across their network, files that were outdated before you even figured out how to install them on your PC. Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Core Protection is different because while it does employ the use of some signature files, it also leverages the cloud to reduce the amount of information that needs to be sent across the network and also provides the real-time protection that static signature files cannot. As the cloud is updated with the latest threat information, so too are all of the endpoints that are in conversation with that cloud.
This has proven to be extremely effective. In a recent third party test, the Trend Micro technology blocked 100% of all incoming malware (the second place competitive product came in at 77%) by taking a multi-layer approach. Nearly all (97.5%) of the malware was detected and blocked in the first layer (URL reputation) and the remaining pieces of malware were blocked in the two subsequent layers of defense. Now, here's where it gets even more impressive. An hour after the original test, they again tested just the malware that got through URL reputation, but this time it did not get through even that first layer of defense. This is protective technology that is updating and hardening its defenses as new threats come in.
I don't think I really need to explain the importance of endpoint security to anyone reading this. We all have different things at stake, whether it's your back accounts, your music collection, confidential information for work or even just a photo album. What I can say is that 77% isn't good enough when it comes to protecting any of those things.
The strength of Tivoli Endpoint Manager is that it combines first-rate security with the systems management capabilities needed to ensure that protection is deployed across the entire infrastructure. When it comes to endpoint management, it's about no longer looking at technology in silos, it's about understanding why and how we can integrate different complementary offerings. Tivoli Endpoint Manager is built on that philosophy.
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