Protecting Your Data Protection’s Blind Side – Endpoints

Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are how users get work done. A surprising amount of organizational data is stored exclusively on laptops, never touching data center storage. Endpoints are also on the front lines of business where they are the most susceptible to hardware failure, loss or cyber-attack. It is easy to ignore endpoints when putting together a data protection plan.

Many organizations count on users to protect their own devices, but these strategies often come back to haunt IT. Endpoints create a blind spot in the data protection policy where data, critical to the organization can be lost, and cyber-attackers can gain access to the data center.

Breaking Down Endpoint Protection Resistance

One of the challenges with endpoint protection is the endpoint is typically in use while the backup is running. Servers typically never shut down; they run all night long, so it is relatively easy to find a window to perform backups. Endpoints are typically turned off or at least put to sleep when not in use, which means that the backup has to occur while the user is doing other activities. Many endpoint protection solutions take up too much system resources, when the backup process is running, which impacts the user experience. Those users quickly figure out how to deactivate the backup agent.

Another challenge is that IT administrators face a daunting task of deploying hundreds if not thousands of agents across the endpoints, which is time-consuming. Also storing backups of all the endpoints in the environment is expensive. There is also a networking challenge since endpoints are by definition on the move; they rarely connect to an office network. Most users find VPN connections frustrating, and many smartphones and tablets don’t support VPN connections.

The Cloud Solution

The cloud is an ideal solution for protecting endpoints. It provides a centralized repository for endpoints to backup to and a limitless scale of storage resources. The problem is that most cloud endpoint protection solutions are consumer based and don’t provide enterprise-class features.

Endpoint backup to the cloud though still needs to be coupled with the right software to ensure that the backup process doesn’t impact users while they are using their endpoints. The software also needs to provide IT administrator visibility into to the state of protection of each of the organization’s endpoints.

The software also needs to provide advanced features such as remote wipe and encryption in case someone steals the device. Finally, it should provide anomaly detection of a high number of changing files between backups, which is indicative of a ransomware attack.

StorageSwiss Take

Endpoint protection has changed and it should no longer blind side IT professionals looking to design a data protection strategy. Not all solutions are created equal, so finding the right solution for your enterprise requires investigating the options available. In our on demand webinar “Using the Cloud to Fix Backup’s Blind Spot – Endpoint Data Protection” we discuss why endpoint protection is more critical than ever, how endpoint protection has changed and what to look for in an endpoint protection tool.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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