Category: Data Visibility & Protection

Absolute Named Leader in G2 Fall 2019 Grid Report for Endpoint Management

Thanks to high levels of customer satisfaction and positive reviews from verified users, G2 has – for the second time this year – named Absolute a leader in the Fall 2019 Grid Report for Endpoint Management Software. Absolute ranked 10th overall out of 150 total vendors in the category, and was named a top vendor based on positive verified user reviews and high levels of customer satisfaction. The reviews highlight the power of the Absolute platform in delivering endpoint security and resiliency.
With more than 790,000 verified user reviews on the platform, G2 helps buyers make more informed purchasing decisions, allowing them to compare the best software and services for their needs based on peer reviews, satisfaction scores, and synthesized social data.
“Absolute is the last-stand in our IT security profile. I like how it integrates with the BIOS to do its thing most of all. Once installed, it’s essentially and hands-off piece of software. And because it is at that low level it can do many things that similar software cannot. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ability to track and recover lost or stolen laptops.” – Senior Network Administrator/IT Manager
Christy Wyatt, CEO of Absolute had this to say about inclusion in the recently released G2 Grid Report: “We are honored and grateful that our customers are willing to go to bat for us and publicly recognize our product innovation, execution, and dedication to continuous optimization and improvement. At Absolute, our number one goal is to be a trusted partner in making our customers more resilient and deliver the visibility, persistence, and intelligence they need to securely and confidently move their businesses forward.”
Get the full G2 Fall 2019 Grid Report for Endpoint Management Software here. To learn more about what real users have to say about Absolute or to leave your own review, visit our G2 profile.

How Machine Learning Can Avert Cyber Disasters

High winds capable of downing power lines across a very-dry Northern California are causing officials to shutoff power this week for hundreds of thousands of residents. The decision came as a way to reduce the threat of wildfires in an area already hard-hit by natural disaster.
Mother Nature is once again flexing her powerful muscles and Californians are left to cope as best they can, with the information they have. This week’s weather event is yet another example of why researchers are working on how to use machine learning (ML) as a disaster preparedness and response tool. Because machines can quickly analyze massive amounts of data from numerous sources, the goal is to use that information to help community leaders and emergency response teams make more informed decisions.
Like natural disaster preparedness and response, ML also has important implications for endpoint security and the disaster that could originate on an endpoint while under cyberattack. As our CTO, Nicko van Someren explains in the below video prepared for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, ML is key to improved security by way of a direct pull through from IT asset management.
An IT Asset Management Job with a Security Outcome
Within the context of IT asset management, organizations are busier than ever trying to manage the growing number of endpoint devices, applications and data. IT complexity has reached all-time highs. ML has been a very valuable tool for managing that complexity and, while doing so, can also make direct contributions to better security and more resilient endpoints. With the power of ML, you’re not only gaining improved visibility into your assets, you’re learning more about the actions and events happening there and finding patterns.
With patterns inevitably come outliers and so often, that’s where vulnerabilities hide. Being able to recognize outliers and remediating any resulting risk is how endpoints – and enterprises – become more resilient.
As Nicko explains: “Keeping machines up to date is an IT management job, but it’s a security outcome. Knowing what devices should be on my network is an IT management problem, but it has a security outcome. And knowing what’s going on and what processes are running and what’s consuming network bandwidth is an IT management problem, but it’s a security outcome. I don’t see these as distinct activities so much as seeing them as multiple facets of the same problem space.”
The growing number of assets is a challenge, certainly. And as security becomes an increasingly critical risk, organizations have been layering on more and more security tools – ten or more agents on each endpoint, says our research. But increased security spend does not equate to improved security. That much is painfully clear. Instead, you’re left with a complex environment full of competing, fallible agents and, consequently, a false sense of security.
Visibility is key and ML can deliver a complete data set that then gives you invaluable insight on what is happening on your endpoints. This way, you can work to reduce complexity and improve endpoint resiliency.
To learn more about the role of ML with IT complexity, watch our newest Cybersecurity Insights video below. And, subscribe to our complete YouTube series.
Complexity is Killing IT

Cybercriminals Take Aim at K-12

The school year is underway and millions of devices are now in the hands of students. More than 80 percent of today’s K-12 organizations provide computers to students and an estimated 70 percent of schools will be one-to-one by 2020.  With school-issued devices commonplace, schools have become easy targets for cyberattacks.
Since 2016, nearly 700 cyber incidents have hit K-12 organizations. And threats like ransomware have forced schools to close their doors, and even compelled Louisiana’s Governor to declare a state of emergency after several schools were wrecked by the Ryuk ransomware in the summer of 2019.
The K-12 attack surface has lured cybercriminals, but the technology itself has also become somewhat of a nightmare. In Absolute’s new study, Cybersecurity and Education: The State of the Digital District in 2020, we looked at 3.2 million devices across 1,200 schools and discovered over 6,400 unique Chrome extensions in-use, 319 security bypass apps (e.g. rogue VPN), and more than 130,000 app versions. The IT complexity is staggering.

Based on the new research, we see three key challenges facing today’s K-12 technology leaders – challenges no other industry faces.

Savvy students — more than five times as many tools for users to tunnel around security controls and policies than other sectors. (rogue apps were found in 42 percent of organizations)

Increased complexity — within five years, K-12 IT leaders have gone from managing a couple of operating systems, a handful of apps, and a few hundred devices to managing hundreds of versions of operating systems, apps, extensions, and thousands of devices. (93 percent of common apps are outdated)

Increased endpoint risk — as complexity expands, so does risk, leaving both students and schools increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Case in point: schools have become the second-largest pool of ransomware victims, slightly behind local governments and closely followed by healthcare organizations. (56 percent of patch agents fail)

It is no surprise then, that 68 percent of K-12 IT leaders say cybersecurity is their top priority, and nearly half (47 percent) say their primary investment will be security controls and tools. But K-12 IT leaders must carefully consider their plans for more security spend and take aim at cyber resilience above all else.
School districts are saddled with the expectation to demonstrate ROI (the effects of the one-to-one program) but on the other hand, they need to keep tabs on security and inventory gaps in a quickly growing endpoint population. Read: Quantifying K-12 Device Use with Absolute.
How do you solve the riddle? Resilience is the key.
Winning the Battle Against Cyber Threats
It is increasingly critical school districts work to reduce IT complexity and improve endpoint resiliency by gaining visibility to every device everywhere. Then, IT leaders can identify use patterns, justify tech spend for maximum ROI, and discover device use patterns and rogue apps, how often devices are used, and what risks students are creating. K-12 IT leaders can rely on Absolute to unmask complexity risks and automate endpoint security—restoring fragile security controls, apps, and agents—to safeguard digital learning for the next generation.
To learn more about the cyber risks facing today’s K-12 schools, download the full report Cybersecurity and Education: The State of the Digital District in 2020.
 

5 Key Insights From Absolute’s 2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report

This post was originally published by Forbes Magazine and Software Strategies blog.

Endpoint security tools are 24% of all IT security spending, and by 2020 global IT security spending will reach $128B according to Morgan Stanley Research.
70% of all breaches still originate at endpoints, despite the increased IT spending on this threat surface, according to IDC.

To better understand the challenges organizations have securing the proliferating number and type of endpoints, Absolute launched and published their 2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report. You can get a copy of the report here. Their findings and conclusions are noteworthy to every organization who is planning and implementing a cybersecurity strategy. Data gathered from over 1B change events on over 6M devices is the basis of the multi-phased methodology. The devices represent data from 12,000 anonymized organizations across North America and Europe. Each device had Absolute’s Endpoint Resilience platform activated. The second phase of the study is based on exploratory interviews with senior executives from Fortune 500 organizations. For additional details on the methodology, please see page 12 of the study.
Key insights from the report include the following:

Increasing security spending on protecting endpoints doesn’t increase an organizations’ safety and in certain cases, reduces it. Organizations are spending more on cybersecurity than ever before, yet they aren’t achieving greater levels of safety and security. Gartner’s latest forecast of global information security and risk management spending is forecast to reach $174.5B in 2022, attaining a five-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.2%. Improving endpoint controls is one of the highest-priority investments driving increased spending. Over 70% of all breaches are still originating at endpoints, despite millions of dollars spent by organizations every year. It’s possible to overspend on endpoint security and reduce its effectiveness, which is a key finding of the study. IBM Security’s most recent Cost of a Data Breach Report 2019 found that the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. grew from $3.54M in 2006 to $8.19M in 2019, a 130% increase in 14 years.
The more complex and layered the endpoint protection, the greater the risk of a breach. One of the fascinating findings from the study is how the greater the number of agents a given endpoint has, the higher the probability it’s going to be breached. Absolute found that a typical device has ten or more endpoint security agents installed, each conflicting with the other. MITRE’S Cybersecurity research practice found there are on average, ten security agents on each device, and over 5,000 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) found on the top 20 client applications in 2018 alone. Enterprises are using a diverse array of endpoint agents, including encryption, AV/AM, and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR). The wide array of endpoint solutions make it nearly impossible to standardize a specific test to ensure security and safety without sacrificing speed. Absolute found organizations are validating their endpoint configurations using live deployments that often break and take valuable time to troubleshoot. The following graphic from the study illustrates how endpoint security is driving risk:

Endpoint security controls and their associated agents degrade and lose effectiveness over time. Over 42% of endpoints experience encryption failures, leaving entire networks at risk from a breach. They’re most commonly disabled by users, malfunction or have error conditions or have never been installed correctly in the first place. Absolute found that endpoints often failed due to the fragile nature of their encryption agents’ configurations. 2% of encryption agents fail every week, and over half of all encryption failures occurred within two weeks, fueling a constant 8% rate of decay every 30 days. 100% of all devices experiencing encryption failures within one year. Multiple endpoint security solutions conflict with each other and create more opportunities for breaches than avert them:

4. One in five endpoint agents will fail every month, jeopardizing the security and safety of IT infrastructure while prolonging security exposures. Absolute found that 19% of endpoints of a typical IT network require at least one client or patch management repair monthly. The patch and client management agents often require repairs as well. 75% of IT teams reported at least two repair events, and 50% reported three or more repair events. Additionally, 5% could be considered inoperable, with 80 or more repair events in the same one-month. Absolute also looked at the impact of families of applications to see how they affected the vulnerability of endpoints and discovered another reason why endpoint security is so difficult to attain with multiple agents. The 20 most common client applications published over 5,000 vulnerabilities in 2018. If every device had only the top ten applications (half), that could result in as many as 55 vulnerabilities per device just from those top ten apps, including browsers, OSs, and publishing tools. The following graphic summarizes the rates of failure for Client/Patch Management Agent Health:

5. Activating security at the device level creates a persistent connection to every endpoint in a fleet, enabling greater resilience organization-wide. By having a persistent, unbreakable connection to data and devices, organizations can achieve greater visibility and control over every endpoint. Organizations choosing this approach to endpoint security are unlocking the value of their existing hardware and network investments. Most important, they attain resilience across their networks. When an enterprise network has persistence designed to the device level, there’s a constant, unbreakable connection to data and devices that identifies and thwarts breach attempts in real-time. 
Bottom Line:  Identifying and thwarting breaches needs to start at the device level by relying on secured, persistent connections that enable endpoints to better detecting vulnerabilities, defending endpoints, and achieve greater resilience overall.
 

The Apple MacBook Pro Recall: What You Need to Know and What Absolute Is Doing to Speed Up the Process for IT

Life happens and things go wrong. We get it. Technology is one area that, when things go wrong, the impact can be particularly painful. By its very nature, technology is unpredictable, so you can’t eliminate every challenge. But you can be prepared for a swift response to minimize the pain.
The recent Apple recall on the batteries used in 15-inch MacBook Pro units sold between September 2015 and February 2017 is yet another reminder that modern work life is fallible. It’s also  reminiscent of the 2017 Samsung Note 7 fires that were the result of a battery issue, and let’s not forget HP in 2018 and Lenovo in 2014. The point is, recalls happen across the industry.
In Apple’s recent case, they determined that, “in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk.” The recall was quickly followed up with a FAA ban on the laptops which then caused airlines to ban travelers from bringing them on flights either as cargo or in carry-on baggage.
So, imagine my surprise when I showed up at the airport last week and was asked to surrender my MacBook to an airport locker in order to board my flight. It got me thinking …shouldn’t enterprise IT teams have a way to quickly know and identify if any of their corporate-issued laptops are on any recall list? I, for one, am not about to hand over my laptop to any airline representative, security agent or otherwise. It’s almost 2020 – our focus as a cyber industry needs to shift to enabling IT and security teams with swift information, an “easy button” in managing their device fleets and above all, resilience.
The Power of Resilience
Minimizing potentially painful technology issues starts with full visibility into every endpoint in your fleet, where they are, and who they are assigned to. Armed with this information, you can alert your users and if need be, let them know their devices need to be replaced.
This is endpoint resilience.
With the MacBook recall, the proposed ‘fix’ from Apple is to visit a website and manually input every serial number to find out if it has been affected. Not ideal.
How to Take Swift Action on the Apple MacBook Battery Recall
Enterprise IT and Security teams need to be able to quickly look across their full inventory of device vendors, easily check for any recalled devices, and generate a report on make and model of devices, serial numbers, and the location of those devices. What they need is an ‘easy button’ for when situations like this arise.
This is just one way Absolute supports our customers. Using the Absolute console, it’s easy to create a bespoke report that inventories your fleet of devices – make, model, serial number, location, and recall status. In light of the recent Apple recall, we’ve done it for you to save you the time it would take to go through the complex process of having to sift through your device fleet or visit a website to add hundreds if not thousands of device serial numbers.
To find out if you have affected devices, Absolute customers should go to their Reports page. You will see the ‘15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall – Affected Devices’ report in the ‘Custom’ section.
And if you’re not yet an Absolute customer, reach out. We’re here to help.

Back to School – Laptop Theft 101

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Did you know that according to Gartner, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds? It’s not a joke. According to the University of Pittsburgh your laptop has a 1 in 10 chance of being stolen and a nearly 98% chance of never being recovered. Did you also know that nearly HALF of all laptop thefts occur in classrooms?
Most students aren’t likely to to think twice about the value of data on their laptop; they instead think the device itself holds the true value. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The true price of a lost or stolen education device goes far beyond the value of the machine itself. Think of the countless hours and crushing brain energy spent researching and drafting your final thesis, sculpting your musical magnum opus, or the 2,000+ layer Photoshop or Illustrator file you’ve contributed to every week and weekend for the last 4 months of your life. Truth is the data on your device represents irreplaceable concentration, time and effort – invaluable commodities in today’s fast paced digital landscape.
Losing a device is one thing, but losing the data on it – potentially hundreds of hours of work – can drastically interfere with your education goals not to mention cause additional stress during an already difficult time of your life. Don’t take that risk.
Of course there are software ‘solutions’ like popular anti-theft products but they’re bulky, expensive, and stop short of offering TRUE protection. Sure, many can tell you the location of your device but will they actually assist in the RECOVERY of your device once it’s missing or stolen?
What then can be done to protect your device AND it’s data? Beyond protective software, you can start by practicing our top ten recommendations for laptop security:

Never leave your laptop unattended .
Keep your laptop in a secure, hidden place .
Lock doors and windows when you’re not in your room .
Use a discreet laptop case .
Never leave your laptop in your vehicle .
Purchase a Laptop Theft Recovery Solution .
Personalize your laptop’s looks .
Write down your laptop’s serial number .
Use secure passwords and update them regularly .
If someone tries to take it, give it up – it can be replaced… you can’t !

What happens when even these tried and true methods fail, I hear you ask?
Luckily there is one solution that can and will go the extra distance; Absolute Home & Office, with features including device locate, remote content lock and delete, as well as a theft recovery team who works with local law enforcement to actually recover your stolen or missing device. Education pricing is $29.99 for a PREMIUM 1 year plan, or you can get the STANDARD product for just $1.99/month.
Stay safe out there.

Why a Vulnerability Management Program Is Critical For Your Company: All Your Questions Answered

What is a vulnerability management program, anyway?
A vulnerability management program (VMP) is used to identify and manage weaknesses within an organization that could be used to exploit or gain access to the company’s computers and stored data.
Companies must understand that a VMP is much more than just patch or inventory management. While these elements are crucial to a good VMP, even more critical to the program are the employees. 
Why are employees so critical to the success of a VMP?
By training employees not to click on suspicious email links, open unknown documents, or even allow someone to enter a secure area without badging in, companies can go a long way to minimize potential vulnerabilities within the organization.
I often think of the “In this corner we have Dave” cartoon. We all have good intentions and a desire to be effective. Without proper education, our intentions often lead us to very vulnerable places.
In the “User Dave” scenario, you have to educate employees on issues like phishing and things like not letting somebody tailgate and walk into the building behind you. Because at the end of the day, the best tools in the world aren’t going to defeat Dave, who may leave his laptop open as he’s picking up his coffee at Starbucks while he’s VPN’d into the network.
It’s really about the education.
There should be an understanding among employees about why it’s important to accept that patch, why it’s important to have VPN on when you’re at Starbucks, and why you should also the at the very least lock your computer if you’re going to walk away from your laptop.
Where do I even start in developing a VMP?
Start with the NIST cybersecurity framework. If you really peel back the onion on the cybersecurity framework, it’s not about telling you that you must have VPN, or a password that’s 12 pages long and you must change it every 90 days. It’s a tool for you to start getting your organization to ask questions.
For example, how do we feel about this type of vulnerability and how are we doing perimeter management? How are we securing PII and things of that nature?
So if I were going to start anywhere, it would be the higher level of the NIST cybersecurity framework. And then once you’ve gone through that, you can score yourself on where you are risky and where are you not risky. Are you doing patch management and are you rolling it out at the appropriate time?
Then you’ll hopefully have a grasp on the posture of your risk tolerance and can find a program that works for your organization.
That’s where I think the VMP falls into place. If your risk tolerance isn’t matching up to your perceived level of protection, then you need to start looking into how to protect yourself.
Essentially, you need to ask yourself how to best assess your vulnerability management to ensure that you can put your head on your pillow and sleep at night.
Read: NIST CYBERSECURITY FRAMEWORK: FIRST, SEE EVERYTHING
Why is it important for an organization to have a VMP?
Without a VMP, it would be difficult for an organization to determine its posture on cybersecurity risk.
Because without the vulnerability management program, everything else becomes a shot in the dark.
Which elements are a must to include in your VMP?
I can’t stress enough the importance of training everyone connected to the organization, which includes full-time employees, contractors, receptionists, and C-level staff.
But it is also critical to understand the true state of every device connected to your environment.
For instance: How out of date are the browsers being used in your networks? What are employees using multimedia software platforms for? What happened to that laptop that was issued two years ago to the employee who is no longer working for you?
Finally, include an “end of life” strategy for everything and review it regularly. It includes devices, software, cloud service providers, VMPs, etc. Don’t just assume that once you have started a program that everyone is on board and it will be executed properly tomorrow. It needs constant maintenance.
Which company departments should be involved in creating the VMP?
At a high level, to get the proper buy-in for a successful VMP you need stakeholders from HR, legal, governance, IT Ops, security and the C-staff.  Buy-in needs to come from the top and demanded from everyone throughout the organization.
While you may not want frontline employees to dictate policy, getting them involved and encouraging feedback is important. You want a rational conversation where the company can find the right point at which employees feel less productive because of security measures. Once you find that line, you don’t want to step over it.
As long as you have that open dialogue, I think buy-in is easier.
What are the tangible benefits of having a VMP? 
There are three tangible benefits to having a VMP:

Once completed, you will have a better understanding of your organization’s risk posture.
You will be better prepared on how to react when — not if — you have a vulnerability that is exploited.
Your organization can experience a sense of unity in coming together as a team to protect and defend against malicious actors.

What questions should CIOs ask themselves when creating a VMP?
You need to understand your environment.
Do you have a “Single Point of Truth” of the state of your environment? From BIOS up to the latest browser plugin? Can you logically group assets by location, by user role, by privilege?
All of these make it easier for IT Ops and Security to more quickly identify and isolate more critical issues than ones that are less likely to cause concern.
More questions: Is your outside sales organization using an older version of a VPN tool because their systems are regularly missing patch management events? Does this suggest a greater vulnerability than a computer sitting in a training lab with the same old VPN client installed?
Do you have users that are technically savvy enough to change a hard drive, boot from a USB device, or even try to circumvent existing processes to satisfy their own needs? Can you track that behavior today, and if not, how can you ensure that your data and the PII data that you are protecting is safe?
Is a VMP useful for small businesses?
A VMP is useful for all organizations, but it’s understandable to wonder how to get this kind of thing going with limited resources.
But when you think about it, I don’t think any company has enough resources to deal with these problems. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 or Fortune 1 Million you’ve got to make decisions and prioritize how you’re going to act. You still have to make that concerted effort to think about your tolerance to risk management and vulnerability management, and then assess how to prioritize to arrive at the key things that’ll make everybody sleep a little bit better at night.
How can technology help in creating a VMP?
With Absolute, we offer that “Single Point of Truth” that provides visibility into the (approved and unapproved) software on a device, and logically group those devices by location, role, type, software, BIOS and more — to help your organization better understand how the device is being used. Absolute provides visibility and resilience for every endpoint with self-healing endpoint security and always-connected IT asset management to protect devices, data, applications and users — on and off the network.
I want to start with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. How do I begin?
The threat landscape has evolved, the attack surface has mutated, and everywhere you look, the cybersecurity skills shortage leaves more work to do than there are people to do it. As I mentioned before, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Download our NIST CSF Implementation Overview whitepaper to learn how the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF) supports organizations who want to formalize their security discipline and scale their operations.
 
 
 

Secure More, Work Less

As digital transformation initiatives drive more hi-tech processes and connected devices, the threat landscape is more like a thicket, and IT security teams are already stretched. Device fleet security is already a heavy lift; the clever cybercriminals and skyrocketing vulnerabilities, that’s just a bonus (in reverse).
The Need for ML and AI
Mounting cyber risk is a global concern — the 2019 CEO Imperative Study from Ernst & Young shows CEOs now believe cybersecurity is the top threat to the global economy over the next five to ten years. And the rising cybersecurity skills shortage, as well as potential career burnout by existing IT security staff, makes this an international emergency.
In response to cyber fragility and the need for more effective IT operations, we recruited machines to help us meet this challenge—machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). In a report from Capegemini, 69% of executives believe AI will be necessary to respond to cyberattacks and 73% of enterprises are testing use cases for AI for cybersecurity.
In a recent Forbes magazine article, Why AI is the Future of Cybersecurity, Absolute’s CTO Nicko van Someren puts it this way:
“It’s no surprise that Capgemini’s data shows security analysts are overwhelmed. The cybersecurity skills shortage has been growing for some time, and so have the number and complexity of attacks; using machine learning to augment the few available skilled people can help ease this. What’s exciting about the state of the industry right now is that recent advances in machine learning methods are poised to make their way into deployable products.”
The Power of Automation: Absolute Unveils New Updates to Enterprise Resilience Edition
As ML and AI balance the workload and improve response to cyber threats, automation is also the key to endpoint resilience. The Absolute Reach Library — the query and response capability in the Absolute platform —enables IT automation with 118 ready-made commands in the most recent release of the Absolute platform. Nothing is out of reach (pardon the pun), allowing IT and security teams to command any device anywhere, on or off the corporate network.
New Reach ready-to-use workflows introduced this week simplify security policy deployments and remotely manage your devices, including:

Windows Update Command: Pinpoint vulnerable devices with pending or failed Microsoft OS updates
Automated Log Analytics: Detect initial signs of endpoint security exposures and potential incidents by automatically discovering frequent and common issues from event logs
Windows Configuration Enforcement: Audit Windows features and local accounts on devices, as well as modify settings to maximize energy savings and ensure an optimal and consistent user experience

Absolute has also rolled out new Live Chat Support to give enterprise IT and security teams the consumer-like experience to realize endpoint resilience — no tickets, no email, no toll-free numbers. On-demand chat support removes the dependency on outdated modes of technology support, ensuring Absolute customers receive real-time answers and information, so they can focus on their organization’s resilience.
And there’s one, more thing… Policy is the bedrock of any security program. Because at its core, policy says, “This can do that. That cannot do this”. So, Absolute made policy simple and easy. With changes to your Absolute policy groups, you can swiftly and fluidly direct devices to dynamic policies without cycles of enroll/unenroll/reenroll that wastes valuable IT time and brain power.
Read: Creating an Information Security Policy That Works
With easy to manage and staggering speed, IT and security teams get the bedrock protection they demand (airtight policies), without the grind of manual cleanup.
Today’s threat landscape requires the automation of updates, patches and security policies in real-time. Short of that, exposures become exploits and endpoint resilience is lost.
Learn more about Reach and how Absolute enables IT to remote manage devices and seamlessly and fluidly apply and adjust security policies to any endpoint or group of endpoints.
 
 

Quantifying K-12 Device Use with Absolute

K-12 schools across the country rely on technology to further individualized learning but quantifying the efficacy of this effort and maintaining the fleet of devices that one-to-one computing requires comes with unique challenges. With funding opportunities on the decline, schools are increasingly challenged to prove that technology has had a meaningful impact on student outcomes.
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is the third largest school division in the Commonwealth of Virginia with more than 78,000 students in 89 facilities. In order to support their personalized learning initiative, the district invested heavily in a one-to-one program for students and staff, adding thousands of devices for use in-classroom, at home, or by teachers who travel.
The Challenge: Demonstrate Device Use and Keep Them Secure
In order to secure the budget for the purchase of tens of thousands of devices, Dr. Rich Contartesi, CIO for LCPS, was tasked with demonstrating device utilization rates, no matter if the device was on or off the school network, to drive consensus that teachers did need a laptop and that students were benefiting from using laptops in the classroom. The Board also needed assurances that security of sensitive data and device theft recovery were prioritized to safeguard the investment in these devices.
Read: Student Technology Analytics Key to K-12 Digital Learning
The Results: Increased Device Utility and Minimized Risk
Using Absolute, LCPS was able to provide quantitative information on device utilization rates right away. With security in mind, LCPS chose to purchase Dell laptops, which are protected from the factory with Absolute Persistence. Out of the box, these devices are able to withstand tampering and may be tracked no matter where they travel. With Absolute, the LCPS IT team now receives automated alerts on anomalies, so they can focus on reviewing potential security issues and taking action to ensure endpoint protection and data privacy.
“We were able to provide the board with quantitative information about device utilization that derives consensus so the budget could be approved. Also, peace of mind with security, privacy and theft recovery,” Contartesi said.
With Absolute, LCPS now has peace of mind of endpoint security, device theft recovery and data privacy. They have minimized their risk and increased the value and utility of their devices.
Learn more about how Absolute enables personalized learning at Loudoun County Public Schools by minimizing risk and increasing device utility.

How Organizations Can Protect Devices from Cyber Attacks

Christy Wyatt, CEO of Absolute Software, spoke on Yahoo Finance’s web show, The Final Round, on June 19, 2019 to provide her expert opinion on endpoint security, the IPO market, what it’s going to take to out-innovate bad actors, and how to protect your data.
“Security is a journey. It’s not like there’s a checklist: you do ten things and it’s covered,” Wyatt informed viewers. “While we’re spending more and more on security, $124B this year as an industry, and a lot is going on these devices, it’s the fact that we have so many security controls that are creating a vulnerability that conflict with one another and decay over time.”
To learn more about the inevitable degradation of endpoint security controls, download the “2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report – New data security threats revealed from global study of six million devices.”
 

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