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Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

What Is Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)?

Unified endpoint management involves managing multiple endpoints using a single solution. UEM tools can manage multiple employees from one central platform. In this way, a UEM solution can help you control and secure endpoints with a variety of different operating systems, such as iOS, Windows, and Android.

One of the primary goals of UEM management is to reduce the workload on IT teams that have to secure and manage a large number of endpoints. Having a single solution saves IT teams time while freeing them up to work on other projects.

Rise of Endpoint Attacks and Need for UEM

These days, it is almost impossible for a business to run without multiple endpoints. Doing so provides an unprecedented level of flexibility in terms of where, when, and how people work. But the problem is that hackers have found ways to take advantage of endpoint-rich environments, resulting in a rise in the number of attacks.

In a company where many users are connected to one or more networks, each endpoint provides hackers a way to get past the network’s defenses. To make matters worse, some endpoints, such as personal devices, have relatively weak security, making them easy targets for attackers. Even the perception that an organization is brimming with easy targets is enough to inspire hacking attempts. This has given rise to the need for UEM, which makes it easier to protect endpoints from attacks.

What Is UEM: Organizational Benefits of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

By adopting a UEM strategy, an organization realizes several benefits. The best unified endpoint management strategies come with the following:

  1. Employees are free to use their devices knowing that they are more secure.
  2. IT managers more easily add new employees to the organization’s resources, saving both the team and users time.
  3. IT managers get visibility into endpoints across the entire enterprise, which makes it easier to both secure and manage them.

How Does UEM Enhance Enterprise Security?

There are seven different ways UEM enhances network and endpoint security:

  1. More secure remote access: With the right UEM tool, you can manage many remote devices and make sure they can access your network safely. You can also pinpoint devices that have been compromised or are no longer in compliance.
  2. Managing privileges: By properly managing privileges, an admin can ensure that people have access only to the endpoints and areas of the network that they need to do their jobs. Limiting who can go to sensitive areas of the network decreases the chances of insider attacks.
  3. More visibility and easier discovery: With UEM, you get visibility into all of the devices on the network. The system is always looking out for software or devices on your network, ready to alert IT if something gets added.
  4. Easier compliance management: Regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) play a significant role in governing how information is shared and accessed. UEM makes it easier for IT managers to monitor the access of each user’s device, making sure people do not go into areas of the network where they do not belong.
  5. Streamlined patch management: UEM makes it easier to streamline patch updates across all devices according to organizational policies. Because each patch can help close a security vulnerability, these updates are one of the easiest ways to make endpoints more secure.
  6. Controlling applications: Application control gives an IT administrator the ability to limit the kind of applications that users can install as well as ensure they have the ones they need to do their jobs. This enables admins to restrict access to potentially harmful applications.
  7. Easier system resets: A UEM system also makes it easier to reset devices because you can do it from a central location. This is helpful when a device has been compromised by malware or hijacked by ransomware attackers. In many cases, you can reset a device from your UEM server.

Understanding the Differences Between MDM, EMM, and UEM

Mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) share some similarities with UEM, primarily because they can all be used to control or limit the activities of devices connected to your network. But there are significant differences, too.

For example, when thinking about MDM vs. UEM, it is important to note that MDM only focuses on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, UEM also manages other devices that or not mobile, such as desktop PCs.

EMM also covers more devices than MDM. For instance, you can use EMM to control wireless access points and other network devices, not just computers.

Top Five UEM Strategies for a Successful Implementation

Here are the five best strategies for a successful implementation of UEM:

  1. Take into account mobile content management: Use a UEM system to manage content that users download, especially because some can contain threats, such as malware.
  2. Use a comprehensive endpoint management strategy: With the introduction of hybrid and remote workforces across the business spectrum, the kinds of devices connected to the internet have gotten more diverse. With a comprehensive endpoint management strategy, you can design and enforce policies that account for all of the different endpoints users have, regardless of where they are connecting from.
  3. Separate corporate and personal data: Using your UEM system, create containers that can hold corporate information on users’ devices. In this way, you do not end up managing personal files, pictures, videos, or other data.
  4. Establish a system for troubleshooting issues: Regardless of how effective a UEM solution is, problems are bound to arise. Everyone in your organization should understand what to do and who to speak to if something goes wrong with their device or application running on it.
  5. Make the user experience as seamless as possible: Even though the most important objective is for your UEM strategy to support your business’s goals, it is almost as critical for users to have seamless, stress-free experiences. To make sure this is the case, gather feedback about how employees feel about using their devices within your UEM system. 

Key Features of Unified Endpoint Management

A UEM system gives you the ability to:

  1. Configure endpoints: This means you can configure them to maximize performance and security.
  2. Manage endpoints: This gives you the ability to choose which endpoints can access your network and the specific areas of the network they are allowed to connect with.
  3. Monitor endpoints: This includes both seeing which endpoints connect to your system and how users are using them.

UEM Tools

Here are some of the most popular unified endpoint management solutions:

  • Endpoint Central: This is a monitoring, management, and security tool that is designed to manage mobile devices.
  • BlackBerry UEM: BlackBerry UEM comes with a variety of tools for managing multiple devices, Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, and desktops.
  • Syxsense Manage: This system enables you to manage servers, IoT devices, desktops, and software.
  • N-able N-central: N-able N-central is a remote management and monitoring platform IT teams can use to automate, manage, secure, and monitor devices.

UEM: Future Trend Analysis

One of the most recent trends seen throughout the UEM sphere is a movement to better integrate UEM systems with unified endpoint security (UES). This makes it easier to respond to security incidents as well as coordinate response efforts among multiple teams.

There is also a trend toward incorporating automation into unified endpoint management systems. For example, endpoints can be automated to the point where they can self-tune, adjusting their settings to provide more robust user experiences.

How Fortinet Can Help?

With FortiClient 7, IT teams get a complete endpoint detection and response system that enables visibility into and control of the various devices connected to the network. You also get status updates and data regarding how devices are being used. These insights make it easier to formulate and enforce endpoint management strategies.

FortiClient also gives you a view into the applications that each device is running as well as the firmware versions they are using. You can also control which websites users can visit and block malicious files.

FortiEDR finds and prevents breaches automatically. It also greatly reduces the number of false alerts you get, which prevents the system from unnecessarily interrupting operations.

FAQs

What is unified endpoint management?

Unified endpoint management involves managing multiple endpoints using a single solution.

Why do you need UEM?

You need UEM to keep endpoints secure, as well as protect your network from intruders who may attempt to use your endpoints to access sensitive network assets, such as databases containing customer payment information.

What is the difference between MDM, EMM, and UEM?

MDM only focuses on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. UEM also manages other devices that are not mobile, such as desktop PCs. EMM covers more devices than MDM. For instance, you can use EMM to control wireless access points and other network devices, not just computers.