September 11, 2019
By Sumir Karayi, Founder and CEO, 1E
It’s no surprise that IT teams feel constantly behind the 8-ball. In most organizations, there are far too many tasks, many of which involve complex and time-consuming solutions. Not to mention, cyberattacks are on the rise. With 65% of manufacturers suffering at least one serious breach in the last year, it’s now more likely than not your company will be attacked.
Considering that 64% of companies were hit with at least one endpoint attack—that is, one that infiltrated through a random laptop or desktop device, rather than through a main server—one might expect that protecting these vulnerable endpoints would be a top priority.
But in fact, only 67% percent of manufacturing IT pros feel prepared for a serious breach—fewer than their peers across other industries on average. The reason: they’re too busy putting out fires with user requests, project implementations and other tasks all across the organization. That means despite being the single biggest threat to most companies, endpoint vulnerabilities are still being exploited at an unprecedented rate.
Given current resources and tools, IT simply can’t keep up with the demand of maintaining hundreds or thousands of user endpoints and keep mission-critical operations tech humming along. However, there are several ways that your IT department can drastically improve efficiency and security across the organization. Here’s how:
- Prioritize ongoing Windows servicing. With just a few months left before Windows 7 support ends, nearly a third (29%) of endpoints in manufacturing companies still haven’t been upgraded to the new OS, despite the fact that it’s the most secure OS on the market with robust built-in security and routine updates to keep endpoints protected. Completing this update has been a long and laborious chore for many companies, and over half of manufacturing IT pros say their company’s transition is happening far too slowly. Hackers know this, and they’re counting on you to let Windows 7 support run out, leaving you even more vulnerable. That’s why making the leap to Windows 10 before the January deadline should be a top priority.Even with Windows 10 installed across the organization, your battle against cyberattacks is certainly not over. Windows 10 relies on large, bi-annual updates and weekly and monthly patches delivered automatically to keep devices secure. But, this frequent update cadence, along with the large file sizes of updates, can be extremely problematic without the right tools in place. To maintain ongoing servicing, manufactureres need IT tools that keep pace with your business and operate in real-time.
- Take control of your endpoints. One of the biggest issues companies face is that they have no idea what software is running on all of the devices on their network. In manufacturing, IT has control over just 2/3 of endpoints, and for the rest, they have no way to connect with them to find out, much less control, what users install or whether they keep them up to date. That makes troubleshooting on endpoint devices more time consuming than it needs to be. IT is often forced to call users to gather system details or ask remote users to bring or ship their devices in for service. Both significantly delay a fix. Implementing an endpoint management software that gives you visibility and control can help IT efficiently get those endpoints in check and provide faster, better support when needed.
- Keep endpoint devices updated. Software companies routinely identify issue fixes (patches) for vulnerabilities found within their applications. Failure to apply those patches and updates is like leaving your back door wide open, making your devices incredibly vulnerable. Yet, 25% of devices in the manufacturing sector aren’t current with OS updates, security patches and updated device drivers. In many cyberattack cases, the companies attacked admitted they were aware of the vulnerability but hadn’t patched it yet. The primary reason: patching is a huge drain on staff time and resources because, in most cases, each machine must be updated individually. However, automated endpoint management technology can handle this task automatically, pushing updates to devices that need them, without interrupting work, and allowing IT to more efficiently keep endpoints up to date.
Implementing modern, real-time endpoint management solutions can help you keep pace with ongoing Windows servicing, keep the organization secure, keep the production floor humming—and keep your IT team from losing their minds. These endpoint management tools allow IT to effortlessly deploy and schedule updates during “off peak” times when bandwidth capacity is larger, and when doing so won’t interrupt users’ productivity. And, since updates happen automatically, IT can move on to other, more pressing issues, like that long task lists that keeps growing.
These same tools give IT the ability to see exactly what’s running on every machine, configure access control and other provisions to secure every device, and keep unauthorized, potentially risky software off your network. And, these solutions work to access and manage any machine—on premises and remote—even those with minimal connectivity or that are only powered on for a short time each day. This way, IT can be much faster and more effective at resolving endpoint issues, which keeps users happy, too.
By arming your IT team with the right tools to do their jobs quickly and efficiently, your company can close critical cybersecurity holes, keep the entire network safer and make your IT department a less stressful, more productive place to work.
Sumir Karayi founded 1E, an endpoint management company, in 1997 with the goal to drive down the cost of IT for organizations of all sizes. Under Sumir’s leadership, 1E has become a successful global organization and has been inventing solutions to help IT get more done every day for 20 years. 1E is also a trusted partner, with 31 million licenses deployed across more than 1,700 organizations in 42 countries worldwide.