Virtru Security Insights

Endpoint Protection: Gartner Defines Dangerous Threat Landscape for Endpoints

Virtru Recognized as a Key Vendor Addressing Enterprise Challenges

Gartner recently published a report on the endpoint protection market. The research confirms and reinforces our view of the evolving data protection landscape.  We’re pleased that Virtru was identified as one of the key vendors in the space.

The Gartner Market Guide for Information-Centric Endpoint and Mobile Protection, written by John Girard and Brian Reed, has three key findings:

1. Data breaches involving endpoints continue to occur at alarming rates, which means conventional approaches to protecting business information in today’s interconnected and mobile world are not working.

2. Companies tend to mistakenly purchase point products rather than holistically addressing the range of information protection scenarios.

3. Gartner identifies eight specific product areas in this broad market. The good news is that vendors are expanding their product lines to cover more of these important areas. In Virtru’s case, Gartner recognizes the company as a player in three of the eight areas – DLP, file synch and sharing, and EDRM.

Girard and Reed describe the current situation this way: “Endpoint systems are porous, mistakenly sharing data is easy, and users can be careless. Information-centric security is the last line of defense for data when firewalls, anti-malware tools, best practices and other traditional defenses fail.”

Gartner recommends that security practitioners and risk management leaders identify and understand the differences between the various methods of protection and identify potential gaps in their organization’s defenses. Enterprises then need to choose multiple products and technologies in order to create defense-in-depth.

Gartner recommends that when selecting vendors, enterprises focus on interoperability, performance and portability across protection methods, orchestration and automation features.

The market guide places eight different information protection methods on a continuum, from coarse to granular. At the coarse end of the spectrum, Gartner lists full disk drive encryption. “Full disk and file system encryption will always play the first line of defense,” the report says. But full disk encryption is only effective in protecting data sitting on a powered down or locked device. Once the end user boots the device and unlocks the disk, the data immediately becomes vulnerable to attack.

In fact, this latest research from Gartner is an update to a 2015 report that concentrated solely on full-disk encryption. Gartner now says: “All information is potentially mobile; disk encryption is only a piece of the solution, and protection solutions must account for the many ways that information needs protection as it moves.”

In addition to disk encryption, both pre-boot and post-boot, Gartner identifies containers and removable media as the other types of coarse data-protection techniques, meaning that policies are set within the platform, rather than embedded with the files themselves.

However, the world is moving toward more granular approaches. Gartner says that “EDRM promises to be the most flexible and pervasive future technique to protect files regardless of where or how they are shared.” In addition to EDRM, secure PIM, file sync and share, and DLP are the granular approaches, according to Gartner.

Currently, there is no single method to address all aspects of data protection, according to Gartner, so enterprises need to cobble together a solution by selecting a small number of key vendors that have platforms supporting multiple data-protection techniques.

That’s where Virtru comes in. Gartner says, “Virtru supports information-centric protection across both Google and Microsoft applications through encryption of content using the Trusted Data Format (TDF), an open standard for cross-platform, persistent data protection.”

The report adds that Virtru’s policies and protections extend across desktop and mobile operating systems (Windows, macOS, iOS and Android), on-premises and cloud-based email systems (Gmail, Office 365, Outlook and Exchange), plus SaaS business applications like NetSuite, Salesforce and Workday.

Gartner also points out that the Virtru Customer Key Server enables encryption keys to be hosted on-premises or in the cloud.

The risks of not adequately protecting data cannot be overstated, according to Gartner. “Endpoint devices will continue to be an attractive focus for hackers for harvesting business data. These devices are real, tangible, accessible and abundant. The users of these devices will also continue to make human errors that cause information to be vulnerable.”

Security and risk management leaders attempting to enforce endpoint protection “must accept that astute information protection requires a blending” of the various methods listed in the report, Gartner says.

For Gartner clients, this endpoint protection report we’ve cited is available here.