13 mai 2024

Endpoint management: A definitive guide

A secure endpoint landscape is essential for any modern enterprise. Read this article to learn everything you need to know to get started with endpoint management.

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  • Modern enterprises are riddled with endpoints — from laptops and smartphones to wearables and IoT devices. To ensure the security and efficiency of your organization’s complex endpoint landscape, you need to have an endpoint management strategy in place. 

    In this guide, we'll dive into the fundamentals of endpoint management and provide you with some helpful tips to get started.

    What are endpoints?

    Let’s start with the basics. What do we mean when we talk about endpoints?

    An endpoint is a device that acts as a point of communication between your network and the outside world. Think of it as a gateway for data and communication to and from your network.

    Endpoints can be computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, servers, or any other devices that connect to your network.

    With the growing popularity of remote work and the proliferation of internet of things (IoT) devices, endpoints are becoming increasingly diverse. In fact, the number of IoT devices worldwide is expected to reach almost 30 billion by 2030

    This creates a complex ecosystem that requires efficient management.

    What’s endpoint management?

    Endpoint management is the process of overseeing and controlling all the endpoints within your organization's network. This includes coordinating usage, installations, updates, and security measures.

    An endpoint management strategy spans all kinds of devices, regardless of their location, function, and operating system.

    EM, UEM, MDM, EMM — what's the difference?

    Before we dive deeper into endpoint management, let’s define the different related concepts.​

    EM (endpoint management) is the overarching term used to describe the process of managing all endpoints within an organization’s network. This includes desktop PCs, laptops, servers, smartphones, and IoT devices. 

    UEM (unified endpoint management) takes EM a step further. It aims to provide a single platform for managing all types of endpoints. This streamlines the endpoint management process.  

    MDM (mobile device management) is a subset of EM that focuses on managing mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to ensure they meet security and compliance requirements.

    EMM (enterprise mobility management) goes beyond MDM. It involves managing mobile devices, applications, and data to facilitate the secure and efficient use of corporate mobile devices.

    How does endpoint management work?

    Endpoint management ranges from simple processes to some pretty complex operations. Here are some of its key elements:

    Inventory management

    Keeping an accurate inventory of all endpoints is crucial for efficient endpoint management. This can include hardware and software details, as well as information on device usage. Regular IT inventory audits are also essential for uncovering shadow IT.

    Patch and update management

    Regularly deploying software updates and patches is needed to secure endpoints from potential threats. You can automate this as part of your endpoint management and reduce the risk of human error.

    Compliance management

    Endpoint management can help ensure that all devices adhere to company policies and industry regulations such as GDPR and SOC. This lowers the risk of data breaches or compliance violations.

    Security management

    From managing access permissions to implementing security policies, endpoint management is essential for maintaining a secure network. It allows organizations to monitor and control access to endpoints, preventing potential security breaches.

    Why do we need endpoint management?

    The answer is simple: endpoints are the most vulnerable aspect of your network's defense.

    Especially endpoints that aren’t regulated, e.g., as part of a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. In fact, research shows that 80-90 percent of all ransomware compromises originate from unmanaged or BYOD devices.

    By supervising and controlling the devices connecting to your network, you can prevent these types of attacks. That’s why endpoint management plays a vital part in keeping your organization secure.

    How will my business benefit from endpoint management?

    Now that you have a basic understanding of endpoints and endpoint management, let's explore some of the key benefits.

    Enhanced security

    Centralized endpoint management allows for better control over device access and permissions. This ensures that only authorized devices and applications can access your network. Patching software vulnerabilities as part of your endpoint management also protects your system from cybersecurity threats. 

    Increased efficiency

    Automating repetitive work like device tracking, software patching, and permission management saves time for both IT teams and end users. It also reduces the risk of human error, leading to more efficient operations.

    Reduced downtime

    By monitoring your endpoints in real time, you can quickly identify and resolve any issues that may arise. This reduces the risk of downtime, ensuring smooth operations and maximizing productivity.

    Cost savings

    Efficient endpoint management can help reduce IT costs by optimizing processes and minimizing downtime. It also helps avoid costly security breaches, fines, or data loss, making it a worthwhile investment for businesses of all sizes.

    How to implement an endpoint management strategy

    To successfully implement endpoint management in your business, follow these key steps:

    1. Take an inventory: Begin by creating a comprehensive inventory of all endpoints within your network. This inventory should include details about device types, operating systems, and installed applications. Speed up this process with an automated asset discovery solution.
    2. Establish policies: Set policies that define the acceptable use of devices within the network. These policies should cover security practices, access controls, and guidelines for BYOD environments.
    3. Deploy security software: Ensure all endpoints are equipped with the latest security software to protect them from malware, viruses, and other cyber threats.
    4. Close security gaps: Keep all software and operating systems up to date with the latest patches and updates. This closes security vulnerabilities and improves overall performance. Automate this step with a patch management solution.
    5. Enforce user authentication: Use strong authentication protocols to access your network. For example, multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security beyond just passwords.
    6. Monitor your endpoints: Continuously monitor the health and security of all devices connected to your network. This allows for proactive maintenance and real-time detection of any irregular behavior. Save time and ensure consistency with an automated device monitoring solution.
    7. Encrypt your data: Encrypt sensitive data both at rest and in transit to protect against unauthorized access. This is especially important in BYOD environments where personal and corporate data may coexist on a single device.
    8. Conduct regular audits: Conduct audits of your endpoint management system to ensure that all endpoints adhere to your policies. These audits are essential for maintaining the integrity and security of your network.
    9. Be prepared: Develop and maintain a disaster recovery plan that includes data backup and restoration procedures in case of a security breach.
    10. Raise awareness: Provide employees with ongoing training about security best practices and risks. Human error can be the weakest link in IT security, so awareness is crucial.

    By adhering to these steps, you’ll establish a robust endpoint management system. This proactive approach not only mitigates risks but also supports the continuity and long-term success of your business.

    Best practices for endpoint management

    Endpoint management isn't something you set up once and ignore. It's a continuous process that involves adapting to the changes in the digital landscape and aligning with various stakeholders.

    Here are some best practices to follow as part of your endpoint management process:

    Prioritize security

    Safeguard your business against cyber threats by implementing robust security measures. That involves using encryption and running regular backups to protect your data. It also means enforcing policies like MFA and conditional access to prevent unauthorized people from accessing your endpoints.

    Automate as much as you can

    Managing a complex endpoint ecosystem can be tedious. Save time and avoid human errors by automating processes like endpoint discovery, endpoint monitoring, and patch management. Choose a remote monitoring and management solution that lets you set up automated workflows easily.

    Manage endpoints remotely

    Nowadays, most workforces are distributed across different locations, with people working in the office, at home, or on the go. Use remote solutions to keep track of your endpoints no matter where they are. Avoid travel and downtime by troubleshooting endpoints remotely.

    Monitor and adapt continuously

    Your digital landscape is constantly evolving, so your endpoint management strategy has to change with it. Conducting regular checks and thorough reviews isn't just best practice — it's a necessity. This ensures that your endpoint management strategy remains not only up to date but also resilient in the face of digital changes.


    Endpoint management is a crucial aspect of IT that organizations can't afford to overlook. 

    By implementing an effective endpoint management strategy, businesses can enhance security, productivity, and cost efficiency. At the same time, it helps ensure compliance with industry regulations.

    Given the complexity of today’s endpoint landscape, digital tools for managing endpoints are a must for businesses of any size. TeamViewer can provide you with the tools you need to streamline the process.

    Lisa Mohsmann

    Content Marketing Manager at TeamViewer

    Lisa is a content marketing manager at TeamViewer. With a master’s in management and three years of experience in IT, Lisa is passionate about technology that empowers people to do their best work. When she’s not at her desk, you’ll find her somewhere outside — hiking, exploring, or with a good book.

    Ready to get started with endpoint management?

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