Enforcing Compliance At The Endpoint

With the recent regulatory clampdowns through GDPR, HIPAA and PCI-DSS, compliance has become a necessity and harder to enforce. Your customers and key business partners entrust you with their data. In the event of compliance mismanagement, this trust would be lost, causing a chain reaction of negative press, lost sales and a loss of partnership with B2B associates. Many businesses focus heavily on the security of centralized IT infrastructure, but the most significant threats in the modern world are the endpoints at the edge of your network. Without proper management, these systems could fall victim to malicious attacks and act as a gateway to the core of your network.

Vital aspects of endpoint compliance

Ensuring that compliance is maintained at the edge of your network will increase security and protect your critical business data. There are many ways to enforce endpoint compliance, but this is where you should start:

Setting up discovery and asset management

To ensure the maintenance of compliance, it is vital to have a clear overview of the devices deployed in the enterprise. Device discovery helps you do this by automatically scanning for hardware connected to your WAN or LAN.

  • Discovery - Discovery is typically accomplished by scanning for IP addresses on the subnet you specify. Each device will have its own IP assigned, making it easy for you to find all the devices connected to your network.
    This discovery process will reveal attributes, such as the operating system and its version, MAC addresses, the device type and model numbers so you can categorize your assets. You can discover assets using an agent which is installed on the device during setup or with an agentless approach using the SNMP, WMI and CIM protocols. An agentless approach is typically used to discover printers, network switches and routers - devices where you cannot install monitoring software.
  • Asset management registry - Once a device is discovered, your endpoint management solution can add it to the asset registry. This allows you to track devices and manage access to your network depending on the rules you specify.
    For example, you can add Windows machine to your domain and use group policies in Active Directory to push your enterprise software over the network for quick and easy setup of new hardware. With a unified endpoint solution, this asset management functionality will be device-agnostic, working across Windows, macOS and UNIX machines. You can also enroll mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, enforcing device administration policies on both iOS and Android.

The benefits of discovery and asset management

One of the most significant benefits of discovering assets and maintaining a registry is having real-time visibility of the devices on your network.

  • Blocking unauthorized devices -You can completely restrict network access for devices that are not enrolled in your asset registry like personal laptops and smartphones. This will ensure compliance at the edge of your network as such devices will not be able to access any of your corporate data.
  • Tracking assets – You can assign an employee to a specific device during deployment to keep track of device ownership. Theft and loss of assets are both possibilities and keeping track of this allows you to quickly de-register the device and block any further access to your network.
    Some endpoint management solutions can track the exact location of wireless devices on your network. This is accomplished by triangulating the client device location using a minimum of three visible access points (APs) in your office environment. Using this functionality, you can track down lost items to minimize IT purchasing costs. You can even identify the location of unauthorized devices that attempt to connect to your network, allowing you to confront users and enforce your IT policy more effectively.

Enforce endpoint compliance with Trianz

Trianz is a leading endpoint management consulting firm, with many years of experience in helping our clients secure their complex IT networks. With the widespread adoption of bring your own device BYOD and the Internet of Things (IoT), the number of hardware devices on your network is only going to increase.

We can help you enforce an effective endpoint compliance strategy that minimizes these risks while still reaping many of the benefits of BYOD and IoT. Get in touch with our endpoint management consultants and discover how to better manage your assets with Trianz.

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