In the digital age, cybersecurity has to be a top priority for businesses. Chief Security Officer (CSO) is a role that has emerged in recent years, being responsible for devising and overseeing policies that actively protect IT and online operations. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSOs are now facing increased pressure to strengthen companies’ risk mitigation strategies.
COVID-19 has been a catalyst for digital growth, with many businesses moving online to survive in adverse conditions. However, reports show that since the global crisis began, 4,000 cyberattacks have taken place every day. At the same time, more than 50 percent of companies say that the shift in working patterns due to the pandemic has meant cyber attacks and data fraud are the most worrisome risk for their business.
The new landscape requires new solutions – one of which is device-as-a-service (DaaS). Despite having been around for decades, DaaS is becoming increasingly popular for a range of organizations by allowing them to distribute hardware such as computers, phones, and tablets with preconfigured and customized services and software.
Here’s how DaaS can support CSOs and boost overall risk mitigation in companies:
Supporting SMEs & enterprises alike
Currently, 65 percent of major PC manufacturers offer DaaS capabilities, including major tech players like HP and Apple. That figure is set to boom as organizations realize the advantages of the model – in fact, one Berlin-based startup selling rental packages for mobile hardware and associated support closed a €34 million Series B funding round in July.
One of the reasons for the heightened interest in DaaS is because it caters to both SMEs and enterprises. The technology can help organizations ranging from 100 to 30,000 employees, plus comes with custom integrations depending on company needs. DaaS can also automate compliance on a per-industry basis – for example, around data handling to prevent breaches – so is attractive for automating adherence to internal policies, no matter the size of the business.
Likewise, DaaS is considerably cheaper than buying hardware outright, as it works on a monthly subscription model that can be scaled up or down according to business performance. This cost-effectiveness is beneficial for CSOs in both large and small companies because they can reinvest saved funds into other areas such as cybersecurity training or AI solutions, making risk mitigation even more robust.
Making cybersecurity monitoring more transparent
With DaaS offerings, CSOs can cherry-pick the software and features they want included among devices, meaning they don’t have to substitute quality for the sake of a cheaper hardware model. Once chosen, CSOs can work in collaboration with DaaS experts to ensure that all devices used by employees have the latest security software installed as standard, so there are no potential gaps in the overall cyber defense.
When up and running, DaaS enables CSOs to monitor the entire fleet of devices in the network, alongside ensuring that security policies are followed at all times regarding access to data, use of approved apps, and password maintenance. Meanwhile, DaaS experts can provide weekly, monthly, and quarterly reviews detailing DaaS usage and highlight any at-risk behaviors from users.
Another perk is that DaaS vendors can produce analytical insights about inventory, including location and condition – if hardware is outdated or connected to malicious networks, CSOs can be notified in real-time and take necessary action. This visibility is particularly valuable for CSOs to track and pinpoint dangerous conduct, content, and practices that could jeopardize company security. Not to mention, they can be alerted if tech is stolen or missing.
By making hardware management more transparent, DaaS frees up CSOs to concentrate on strategic IT initiatives and refocus internal resources to priority projects.
Integrating with UEM for greater control
Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is a powerful security solution for DaaS models. UEM adds an even greater layer of security to DaaS services by enabling CSOs and admins to remotely manage the complete lifecycle of endpoints and applications. UEM is proving to be so effective that HP DaaS has incorporated the technology to combine the strength of its platforms and deliver the next generation of device use for organizations.
Across equipment, UEM can shield corporate data and content from cyber attacks, plus detect vulnerabilities before they manifest into more harmful incidents. There is additionally the option to block undesirable websites or alternatively, prevent access to all URLs apart from pre-approved ones. Open-in policies can be created by CSOs too, in order to stop content or apps being open from unmanaged sources. On top of that, passcodes, device and disk encryption all boost physical device security, stopping unauthorized access to hardware.
With the remote data wipe option from UEM, if DaaS endpoints are lost or compromised any information stored on the device can be removed. The chances of sensitive data being leaked are therefore dramatically reduced. Data is also protected considering that transfers via USB, tethering or Bluetooth are restricted with UEM.
Taking the guesswork out of risk mitigation
There’s no doubt that DaaS solutions pose significant benefits to Chief Security Officers and risk mitigation plans. That said, CSOs still need to have an in-depth understanding of how their security principles are applied throughout DaaS services. The technology should not be seen as a replacement for CSO duties but rather a partnership in driving safer, smarter device management.
Ultimately, DaaS can eliminate risky assumptions from device procurement, giving CSOs greater control over corporate technology and helping them make informed decisions that enhance company-wide cybersecurity.