Scale Security with a Frictionless User Experience

This blog is co-authored by Mesut Kaptanoglu, Product Manager, Modern Compute Solutions Group at Dell Technologies.

As we discussed in a recent blog on modern endpoint management, there are several ways to tighten the IT/security gap organizations struggle with today. Let’s drill into one of those pathways in particular: the end user experience and its role in strengthening your security posture.

First, we’ll start by defining UX in security and what it entails. At a high level, this means balancing the burden of security protocols and policies with the end-user experience. That effectively translates to managing updates of the BIOS, drivers, firmware and applications in a controlled manner. In doing so, we improve overall cyber resilience through more efficient updates (i.e., patching) across your fleet and greater employee adherence to protocols. Another key benefit: You preserve employee productivity.

The issue is that today, when it comes to security, UX is considered a nice-to-have, not a must-have. That’s because most organizations are in the nascent stages of adopting technology for seamless security integrations. Right now, the work is manual (read: costly and time-intensive). But it couldn’t be more critical. In our increasingly remote and hybrid work environment with more people than ever before operating outside the safety net of enterprise security, we must connect the dots between security and UX. And that great connector? Manageability.

Manageability is the secret sauce that keeps employees from bypassing overly complex security protocols. And yes, that happens. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Tessian during the pandemic, 48% of employees admitted they are less likely to follow safe data practices when working from home. Imagine that. An organization can develop and deploy the exact right security solutions and protocols and still remain unnecessarily exposed to risk because UX was left out of the equation.

So how can companies better secure their PC fleets?

Modernize your endpoint management. Here are a few ways to tackle this:

1. Automate security updates with a platform that enables customization. IT managers and management are aware that attacks can take place at all levels of IT. This means an increased focus on the BIOS, drivers, firmware and applications of PCs. But many still shy away from automation. They still want to have control over the updates offered. That’s where Dell Command comes into play. Our suite of endpoint management solutions brings these opposing requirements of automation-but-also-customization together, allowing IT decision-makers to customize updates en masse via the cloud. Using Dell Command, only the updates the administrator selects and releases are pushed to your Dell endpoints.

2. Explore a ring deployment approach. When it comes to testing, it doesn’t matter whether you use a classic integration test, a short smoke test or are already rocking the ring deployment methodology. Just assign the desired devices to the test status and test the new catalog according to your own ideas or specifications. That said, more and more customers are adopting a ring deployment approach where a few of the computers, e.g., from IT employees, IT champions or selected early adopters, are offered the new updates in the form of the test catalog. If there are no abnormalities, you can transfer the catalog to production status and offer it to all other computers or users. Again, this is easily done via Dell Command.

3. Be transparent and engage your users early on to help enable change. The best, most successful change management is rooted in communication. Doing so not only keeps your key stakeholders informed, but it also makes them feel empowered and, importantly, keeps them happy. Keeping end users in the know with proactive communication can help make them close allies through complex change. And it could be as simple as creating a hub of information, issuing periodic newsletters and/or publishing internal blogs from the IT and security teams.

We know scaling your security and device management can be a real stressor. Dell builds its devices with both IT and the end user in mind, alleviating the burden of endpoint management. For those IT managers with a Dell fleet, now is a great time to take the Custom Update solution for a test drive if you haven’t done so already. Simply log in to your Dell TechDirect Portal and select “Update Catalogs” under “Manage PC Fleet.” To learn more, read our recent Dell Germany blog for a step-by-step tour on updating your catalog or visit the Client Command Suite hub. As always, your Dell sales rep is here to help.