With a comprehensive systems management strategy that includes standardization, workflow and automation, security software and tools do the heavy lifting. From patch management to regulatory audits, these systems management capabilities help organizations manage the lifecycle of all of their IT assets. A comprehensive systems management strategy also makes it easier for organizations to implement secure operating environments by helping them set the goals they want to roll out in their infrastructure and by ensuring that all the pieces of their infrastructure are compliant with critical policies.
To guard against the risk of information exposure, organizations must protect both their infrastructure, from endpoints to servers and gateways, and their information, wherever it is and however it is being used. In addition, organizations need to replace broken business processes with IT policies that are proactive and enforced. Finally, organizations must manage their systems by implementing secure operating environments, patching systems quickly, and automating processes to streamline efficiency both before and after a security event.
Protecting the Infrastructure
Protecting endpoints requires more than antivirus and antispyware. Endpoint protection also requires firewall, intrusion prevention, and device and application control as well as tools that automatically analyze application behaviors and network communications to detect and block suspicious activities. Endpoint protection also requires administrative capabilities that enable IT to deny specific device and application activities that are considered high risk. Endpoint protection must also provide network access control to make sure endpoints remain in compliance with IT policy when they connect to the corporate network.
To protect messaging server environments against spam and viruses, organizations should scan inbound and outbound email and instant messages for compliance with regulatory and governance requirements. To ensure the most up-to-date protection, spam signatures need to be updated automatically and virus protection must include next-generation capabilities such as reputation-based filtering.
With the proliferation of Web-based attacks, a secure infrastructure must also include protection against Web 2.0 threats. Traditional URL filtering alone is insufficient. Organizations must also be protected against spyware, active and dormant botnets, and viruses, and block malicious websites, active content, application file downloads, so-called "phone home" traffic, and attacks on-the-fly.