Endpoint security remains a critical challenge for organizations in the cloud era: More than 70% of breaches still originate on an endpoint, and 42% of all endpoints are unprotected at any given time, according to the 2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report.
The increase in remote and mobile workers, the rise of the gig economy and the growing sophistication of hackers looking to exploit any weakness are among the factors that have the potential to make matters worse.
Research found that nearly 50% of business leaders cited human error as the cause of a breach at their companies, and more than 20% of all breaches are caused by human error, an increase of 5% in just five years.
As business and IT leaders look to mitigate risk, the transition to thin clients and the cloud can offer additional levels of protection. Because data is not stored locally, there is less risk if a device is lost or stolen.
In addition, thin clients can be managed, monitored and maintained from a central location, so IT can be more proactive in preventing and repelling breaches and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, while also ensuring regulatory compliance.
And, as multicloud environments continue to proliferate, thin clients enable IT to mitigate risk through greater control, visibility, monitoring, and remote, centralized remediation.
In this article, we explore four key security benefits of using thin clients in your cloud environments.
- Centralized management with minimal (or zero) local data, storage and software. IT can set up, manage and monitor multiple clients from a single point. Local processing and storage are either eliminated or greatly minimized, so the potential impact of a device being lost or stolen is mitigated. What’s more, remote management enables IT to quickly determine if a device has been compromised so that it can shut down the device from a central console and wipe it remotely before it can be used to cause any harm. For example, thin clients protect against DDoS attacks by monitoring, absorbing and dispersing attacks.
- Built-in security protections. Multilayer hardware and software protection is built into thin clients, empowering users to work anywhere with an Internet connection, without fear of leaving data behind or being attacked by malware. Thin clients can help protect your systems and networks from viruses and unauthorized software through security protections such as read-only locked file systems, self-healing BIOS and a Linux operating system that is resistant to viruses. Thin clients are also available with advanced security features such as multifactor authentication, configurable firewalls, customizable policies for USB port management and, on mobile thin clients, technology that limits the field of view to only the intended viewer.
- Safeguard data, reduce complexity. IT teams can safeguard data by storing it on a remote server instead of locally. IT can further limit risk by controlling permissions, settings and applications from a central remote location. Because permissions, processes, user privileges and enforcement are centrally controlled, IT has less to worry about and less to manage. IT admins don’t have to monitor multiple types of devices across multiple clouds using multiple management and security platforms and tools that can cause confusion, complexity and unnecessary endpoint risks that can compromise the entire organization.
- Enhance compliance, increase agility. Thin client endpoints can be monitored at all times for security compliance, and updates can be applied consistently and conveniently across all devices. IT doesn’t have to worry about user responsibility for patching, updating and version control because all of those activities are managed from a central location. If and when compliance requirements change, either in specific regions, countries or industries, IT can easily adapt wherever its thin clients are located.
In the cloud era, business and IT leaders are constantly looking for ways to limit their exposure. A single breach or other security event can have devastating consequences in costs, reputation, goodwill, brand reputation, regulatory compliance and other areas. The average cost of a data breach is now more than $3.9 million.
Thin clients have the potential to significantly limit risk and exposure, while also simplifying the ways in which IT and security teams can manage and monitor endpoint security. Not just any thin client will suffice, however. It is important to use solutions that offer the most comprehensive and up-to-date security features and functions.
Please visit HP Inc. for more information on how thin clients can strengthen cloud security in your organization.