Magazine Article | May 18, 2011

Tech Trends: Endpoint Security Is A Moving Target

By Brian Albright, Business Solutions magazine.

For years, endpoint security solutions were primarily targeted at desktop PCs and servers. The explosion in mobile devices, as well as the proliferation of hosted and cloud-based applications and services, has shattered the very concept of the "endpoint" and changed the focus from protecting devices to protecting data no matter where it may be housed.

"The perimeter of the corporate network has evaporated and is in many ways borderless," says Ted Hulsy, director of channel marketing at SonicWALL. "To keep users productive while keeping corporate data secure, organizations need remote access solutions that are intelligent enough to dynamically grant users different access privileges based upon the device, whether it is a corporate-issued laptop, home computer, kiosk on the road, or mobile device."

VARs have to retool their security offerings to fit this new reality, and that will require taking a more holistic view of each client's security needs. "For the channel, the key will be to go beyond just selling an endpoint protection solution," says Robert Gorby, global head of SMB marketing at AVG Technologies. "It will become important for channel partners to work closely with SMBs to understand their business and the way they operate. Just having endpoint security may no longer be enough."

Malware has also become more sophisticated, rendering traditional antivirus solutions less effective. "Endpoint security solutions must provide layered protection to include not only signature-based detection, but also heuristic-based detection and polymorphic-based detection technology," Gorby says. "It is important for channel partners and VARs to understand the differences to ensure they propose the right solutions to their clients."

"The old challenges still exist — in fact, malware is a bigger problem today than it was five years ago," says Ron Clarkson, senior director of endpoint business at Trend Micro. "But mobility and mobile devices are expanding the very definition of endpoint security, and this is a very positive development. It's important to include mobile devices as part of an overall mobile endpoint security value proposition that includes traditional Windows and Mac endpoints.