Posted: 3 Min Read Product Insights

The Battle to Bolster IT’s Control over the Endpoint Just Changed

Symantec, VMWare unite around a major technology integration that will transform the capability of enterprise customers to protect their digital workspaces

With more businesses turning into digital businesses, the task of securing a growing constellation of users, apps, devices and networks gets more important - and more challenging - all the time.

Threat actors continue to deploy a combination of new and old tactics to exploit vulnerable defenses. For enterprises, the consequences of getting this wrong can lead to the theft of valuable IP and other coveted data in a breach. The result: lawsuits, financial loss and irreparable reputational harm.

But there’s strength in numbers and one of the hallmarks of Symantec’s strategy is to unite with technology partners to build out a rich ecosystem of trusted solutions. It’s also why we’re pairing up with VMware in a major technology integration initiative to bolster the ability of enterprise customers to secure their digital workspaces.

Symantec is supporting VMware’s Workspace ONE Trust Network, integrating our technology to help solve problems that customers frequently encounter managing and defending their endpoints. Let’s take a look at an example of how this might work in practice.

BYOD and its Discontents

Let’s consider some of the changes being ushered in by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement. In the last several years, the number of people who use their own personal equipment at work has skyrocketed. Indeed, when you look at the types of devices people now use in the enterprise, it’s not just PCs or Macs anymore. BYOD means more mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones.

Here’s where things get complicated. IT has historically managed software installations. From the enterprise’s perspective, a well-managed endpoint is a secured endpoint. IT understandably would like to continue to provision security software and keep it up to date to effectively manage the protection of all the business’s endpoints.

But the popularity of BYOD has loosened IT’s once-tight control over that process and forced enterprises to rethink their traditional approach to managing endpoint security. While organizations still need to protect against compromised devices that might introduce risk into the organization, it’s hard to manage that situation when employees are not willing to relinquish full control over their devices in return for being able to access corporate apps.

Also, users may unlock or “root/jail-break” their mobile devices and tablets to run side-loaded apps and games, personalize their UI experience, or bypass built-in security restrictions. That’s an invitation to trouble because it makes their devices more susceptible to being exploited by cyber criminals. Since users are no longer constrained to installing officially sanctioned software from iTunes, their devices become vulnerable to infections.

We’re helping VMware to combat that challenge. Workspace ONE helps establish trust across the digital workspace by offering organizations enhanced abilities to authenticate users when they log on. It also elevates the authentication requirements based upon individual device types. Say that someone is attempting to access a corporate app while working outside the office in a coffee shop. Instead of just requiring the usual active directory credentials, such as a user’s name and password, the system will further request a second factor to authenticate the employee’s identity.  

At the same time, SEP (Symantec Endpoint Protection) bolsters Workspace ONE’s authentication process to prevent potentially unhealthy devices from introducing threats into the organization. A user might provide the correct password and even pass the second factor requirement. But SEP can go a step further to discern whether the device used by an employee is infected and then block it from accessing the network before any damage gets done.

Also, Symantec taps into the most in-depth information in the industry about the security health of an endpoint. If a device ever gets infected by a piece of malware or if we discover unusual file or network activity around that device, that information will get transmitted to Workspace ONE. VMware will ingest the data and trigger a workflow engine that lets the organization take defensive measures based on these deeper insights into its security situation.   

The threat landscape for enterprises is evolving faster than ever. The need for integrated security solutions has never been greater, specifically across mobile and endpoint devices as they are commonly the main touchpoint for an end user accessing corporate data. Symantec’s integration efforts with Workspace ONE help support VMware’s vision of the Workspace ONE Trust Network, ultimately helping provide customers with a modern security approach against the evolving threat landscape in the digital workspace.

When you combine Symantec’s endpoint protection with VMware’s unified endpoint management, it’s a major advance for customers in need of a modern security approach as they navigate into our digitized future.

If you found this information useful, you may enjoy:

 

About the Author

Javed Hasan

Senior Vice President, Endpoint, DataCenter & Mobile Symantec

Javed is Senior Vice President of Enterprise Products at Symantec. He is responsible for product management and development of Symantec’s award winning Enterprise Security Products including Endpoint , Datacenter, Storage & Iaas Security product lines.

Want to comment on this post?

We encourage you to share your thoughts on your favorite social platform.