What Should My UEM Audit Checklist Cover?

IT security has been fundamentally changed. And only Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is built to handle the demands of modern work. What does your UEM audit checklist need to keep your endpoints safe?

In recent years, enterprise IT has been transformed. And that means revolutionary changes where your infrastructure is concerned. Employees are using dozens of cloud services and mobile apps to get work done – meaning a traditional security approach that protects the network perimeter and locks down endpoints is outdated.

Only a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution is built to handle the app-to-cloud model demands of modern work. While cloud service providers and app developers generally take a structured approach to ensure their data centers are safe and not at risk for serious breaches, these considerations go out the window the second data leaves these service providers.

Because once information lives on an employee’s mobile device, it can be easily compromised or lost without the appropriate security controls in place. That’s why many organizations undergo extensive UEM auditing procedures to test exactly how well they’re safeguarding sensitive business data in the cloud and at the device level.

So, what does your UEM audit checklist need to include if you want to pass with flying colors?

Encryption and Password Protection

Unfortunately, mobile devices are easy to lose. Inevitably, you’ll face a scenario where an employee lost their corporate smartphone – so, what happens then? Is their data simply handed over to the person that finds it? Or, do you use UEM to reinforce that device’s data protection instead?

Your UEM audit checklist needs to start with device encryption and password protection enforcement. It needs to show how you plan to prevent easy access whenever endpoints fall into the wrong hands. Otherwise, you open your organization up to potential data breaches that not only jeopardize your intellectual property, your employees’ information, and your customers’ privacy, but put you in illegal territory where regulations like the GDPR are concerned.

Data Sharing Protections

Most mobile operating systems allow data to be shared between different apps on a device. Users receive attached documents in a business email and open them with a different PDF reader or document editor, for example.

Once that happens, however, an outside app can store or transmit that data to someone beyond IT’s control – and that opens up a common avenue for enterprise data loss. To prevent this from happening, your UEM audit checklist should ban the usage of any business apps that allow data to be exported to an unapproved source.

Data Wipes

Endpoints fall out of compliance all the time. Employees commonly work around IT’s rules by jailbreaking, rooting, or failing to update their device more often than you think. To ensure immediate action, any resolution should be automated so IT doesn’t have to manually intervene to prevent threats.

To mitigate as much risk as possible, your UEM audit checklist should detail how you conduct closed-loop compliance from threat detection on. And, in severe cases, include considerations to automatically delete enterprise data from an affected device. The longer it takes you to perform these procedures, the greater the risk there is of a serious breach.

Network Separation

Similar to the separation of enterprise and personal data mentioned above, your UEM audit checklist should also detail how enterprise and personal network access is separated. And a per-app VPN could be the key to ensuring this happens.

Unlike a standard VPN that sends information from all apps through your network, a per-app VPN can be configured to deliver only the data that’s generated by your business apps to your corporate network – protecting your traffic and preserving the privacy for every employee, customer, and piece of your intellectual property.

Unauthorized Device Access Prevention

The modern IT model is managing cloud services from multiple vendors – Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, etc. But when an employee downloads a work app to their personal phone, for example, trouble is likely to result. All it takes is one instance of unauthorized access to gain entry into these services, download your data, and use it without IT’s approval or knowledge.

Your UEM audit checklist should specify that business data should never be on a device that IT doesn’t manage. Information is your organization’s most valuable resource, so you need to be able to apply security controls across every device and cloud service should a breach situation arise.

Zero-Day Threat Detection

While the prior checklist item helps you prevent data loss, the truth is that hackers are always looking for new ways to take advantage of cybersecurity vulnerabilities. If someone works hard enough, at some point they’re probably going to infiltrate your systems to find the data they desire.

That said, UEM is your best chance to prevent that from happening. So, your UEM audit checklist should include ongoing machine learning-based analysis capabilities to detect any network threats as they occur. Even better if you’re able to resolve issues at the individual endpoint level to prevent the damage from spreading even further after discovery.

Security Controls That Work Across Every Operating System

It’s no longer a Windows-only IT world. More and more enterprises support endpoints across Android, iOS, macOS, and more. Combined with those still using older operating systems and legacy security tools, this makes your job as a security expert much more difficult. You can’t just focus on shoring up one system’s weaknesses and move on.

Your UEM audit checklist should speak to the need for unified, cross-platform security. Your IT department should have robust controls that leverage the built-in security frameworks many of these new operating systems use out of the box.

Certified Device Security

Common Criteria is an international standard for computer security – and its Protection Profile for Mobile Device Management (MDM) includes requirements such as how to apply security policies to mobile devices, how to process enterprise data, and how to connect to enterprise networks.

It’s also a requirement for any government institution or high-security industry. Even if you’re not legally required to comply with Common Criteria, your data deserves the best protections possible. So be sure to prioritize any UEM solution that has this certification.

Certified Cloud Security

If your security solution is cloud-based, there’s another certification your UEM audit checklist needs to include: Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type 2. These detailed reports include a description of the auditors test operations and compliance controls to assure a UEM’s measures have been proven effective.

Endpoint security will always be a moving target. For many organizations, UEM is a good place to start – but even the best software solution can fail if you’re not using it properly.

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