Endpoint devices have been the bane of security practitioners for as long as we can remember. Whether it’s unknowing users who click anything, folks who don’t think the rules apply to them, or the forgetful sorts who just leave their devices anywhere and everywhere, keeping control over endpoints causes heartburn at many organizations. To address these concerns, Securosis recently published our Endpoint Security Management Buyer’s Guide, which began with a list of the key issues complicating endpoint security management, including:
As we described in the Introduction to Implementing and Managing Patch and Configuration Management, endpoint hygiene is key to endpoint security management. WIth the product (or service) in hand, it’s time to get the technology implemented and providing value as quickly as possible. You know the old saying, “if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” It’s actually true, and the preparation in this situation involves ensuring your processes are solid, defining device coverage and roll-out priorities, figuring out what’s already out there, and finally going through a testing phase to make sure you are ready to deploy widely. So, let’s revisit the patch and configuration management processes.
By this point planning should be complete. You have designed your patch and configuration management processes, defined priorities to manage the devices in your environment, figured out which high-level implementation process to start with, discovered the devices in your environment, and performed initial testing to make sure the new technology doesn’t break anything. Now it’s time to integrate the patch and configuration management tools into your environment. Enough of this planning stuff, let’s get down to business! But you won’t actually remediate anything yet – the initial focus is on integrating technical components, installing agents as necessary, and preparing to flip the switch.