Why do retailers need Unified Endpoint Management?
Retail has become an increasingly mobile domain, with most retail stores now running their POS and other critical business functions on mobile devices. This makes the IT environment of a store more complex. Mobile devices are easier to steal, hack or simply be lost by employees, making them a potential weak point in your IT business network.
Unified Endpoint Management is the solution to managing and securing a disparately located network of devices. It provides an all in-one-package for IT teams to monitor and remotely manage devices across a large estate, whilst also providing a centralised management tool for ensuring endpoint security.
The evolution of Unified Endpoint Management
Remote device management has existed for many years in the retail industry, predominantly as Mobile Device Management (MDM) then as Mobile Application Management (MAM), and then branching into Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM). UEM is a convergence of those technologies that has surpassed them all and emerged in response to the current hybrid in-person/work from home pattern many businesses have adopted.
Unified Endpoint Management combines the capabilities of Mobile Management Solutions with functionality traditionally used to manage on-premises PCs or laptops. In addition, most UEM tools will also integrate with modern antivirus and anti-malware software and firewalls providing a unified and simple way for IT teams to remotely protect all endpoint devices using one tool and one set of protocols.
What are the benefits of Unified Endpoint Management?
The key benefit of Unified Endpoint Management is having a centralised and simplified command centre that enables IT or security teams to remotely monitor, manage and secure all endpoint devices in one go. They can create uniform policies for device management and apply them to all their devices and operating systems in one go. The same goes for patch management. In managing devices this way, it reduces manual and repeated work for an IT team, and in doing so lessens the opportunity for human error or inconsistencies that can creep in when working across multiple systems or tooling. This makes systems less likely to have misconfigurations or errors that can leave networks vulnerable to attack.
Alongside the security benefits that Unified Endpoint Management provides are the optimisations it offers retailers. IT teams can use a single central dashboard to remotely analyse and optimise their systems. And many UEM solutions offer additional benefits to retailers such as automated detection and self-healing of incidents, remote analysis of system alerts and incidents, and windows and 3rd party patch management. This enhanced visibility of the total IT estate is streamlining operation processes and enhancing problem management and root cause analysis for IT teams.
Unified Endpoint Security
With retail a key target for cyber criminals, ensuring stringent and consistent security across all endpoints is a must for retailers, and end-user devices are often targets for cyber criminals looking for vulnerable access points. Unified endpoint security protocols protect networks by gatekeeping against intrusions that could cause damage and user behaviours that could put the network at risk. Typical security protocols that can be administered using Unified Endpoint Management include:
Admins can choose to approve or prohibit certain applications from being downloaded onto devices to protect the device or stop unauthorised apps accessing data.
Operating system updates
Admins can remotely install the latest antivirus updates, update web filters with any blocked sites and tweak firewall settings.
Deploying patches and protection
UEM policies can be set up to automatically detect and then push patches to enforce any vulnerabilities they find in the system.
Where personal devices might double up as work devices, policies can be set that isolate business data from personal data, and in doing so protects privacy.
Remote wiping or locking of lost or stolen devices
If devices are lost or stolen, UEM enables IT teams to locate, wipe or lock devices to prevent unauthorised access to the network or simply protect the data on it.
Setting and enforcing security policies
Multi-factor authentication, minimum password lengths and regular password renewals can all be set up as policies using UEM.
PMC’s Unified Endpoint Management offering
PMC uses Kaseya VSA enhanced and developed in-house specifically to provide a Unified Endpoint Management solution specifically for retailers. We also partner with security specialists Sophos and can provide integrated security solutions alongside our UEM offering. Backed up by our retail-specialist knowledge and our experienced managed services team, we offer a 24hr operational service covering remote monitoring, management and security.