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In pursuit of the wily and elusive “Single Pane of Glass”

October 11, 2018
In pursuit of the wily and elusive Single Pane of Glass

The “single pane of glass” for endpoint management is something IT professionals have sought since time immemorial. Unfortunately, such a tool is akin to Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Great Pumpkin, or the Yeti: sightings are sometimes reported but difficult to confirm and — in those rare cases where proof does seem to exist—something about the source is questionable or unreliable. Meanwhile, new and different operating systems like Android, iOS, Linux, and macOS are breaking the Windows endpoint monoculture in many organizations, resulting in an increasingly fragmented management tool ecosystem and pushing the “single pane of glass” farther out of reach. Simultaneously, the tighter budgets and leaner staffing typical of most IT departments makes simplified tooling even more desirable.

There are plenty of mature tools available for endpoint security and management, but using them in a cohesive and consistent way has been a challenge, which is why we’re so excited about the integration of MobileIron Core and McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO). This first-of-its-kind integration enables endpoint admins and security operations teams to get a holistic view of their entire estate—from servers to smartphones—and strengthen their prevention, detection, and response capabilities.

A view through the single pane:
MobileIron and McAfee ePO

Despite the fractious nature of the modern heterogenous endpoint landscape, security depends on uniformity. Policies must be consistently applied and monitored regardless of the underlying differences in the operating systems those devices run. The integration between MobileIron Core and McAfee ePO moves critical information about Android and iOS devices, which is usually available only to EMM/ UEM platforms, out of its silo and into an industry-leading management and orchestration console.

This data transfer creates a new level of consistency in the endpoint monitoring process by abstracting away the differences between endpoint OSes, breaking down the barriers between management systems, and centralizing both policy definition and monitoring. This enables endpoint admins and security operations teams to perform more efficiently by reducing the number of consoles they have to interact with to perform their duties. The benefits go beyond ePO as well. Because the integration also supports Data eXchange Layer (DXL), security events for mobile devices can published on the DXL fabric and consumed by a wide array of security partners, enabling an even broader set of automation and orchestration use cases. This breadth helps resolve the tension between integrated and best-of-breed security solutions by offering familiar and standardized interfaces that simplify day-to-day tasks, while enabling better information sharing and automation.

Conclusion

While a true “single pane of glass” may prove to be a mythical creature that we will never be able to capture, reducing the number of consoles by integrating best-of-breed solutions in a manner that improves visibility and reduces complexity for operations teams is definitely the next best thing.

For more information on the integration of MobileIron Core and McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), check out the configuration guide or contact your MobileIron representative, and don’t forget to visit us during McAfee MPOWER (Booth #406), Oct 15th - 18th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.

 

James Plouffe

James Plouffe, Strategic Technologist

About the author

With 20 years of experience, James has provided IT and InfoSec services and insight for customers ranging from mid-size enterprises to the Global 10. He also served as a technical consultant for seasons 1 – 3 of the award-winning “hacker” drama, Mr. Robot, on USA Network.

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