When Data Insights Matter

By: Torsten George | 3/31/2022 | 6 min read

As organizations continue to navigate the uncertainties of the new work-from-anywhere era, the one thing that has become more important than ever is data insights.

Most IT organizations lack visibility into end user performance issues. They typically investigate performance issues only when end users complain about them, which is usually a fraction of total incidents that occur. As a result, end user productivity suffers. When investigating performance issues, IT teams often resort to manual troubleshooting processes. These cumbersome approaches fail to identify the root cause due to a lack of historical data from the time incidents occurred. IT and mobility teams also have often insufficient data to properly evaluate the effects of present and future changes.

And as organizations aim to implement Zero Trust principles, the notion of trusted and untrusted networks no longer exists. In turn, high efficacy security controls need to be uniformly applied regardless of where a user accesses data. In this context, it is essential for security practitioners to have an understanding and fine-tune the effectiveness of their enforcement policies. Here again, it is critical to gain the necessary insights to make informed decisions.

At Absolute, we believe that anonymized data collection across devices, applications, network, and infrastructure is not only critical to cover an end user’s transaction from a Zero Trust security perspective but should also empower IT and mobility teams to ensure remote and field workers can perform effectively in the new work-from-anywhere era. In turn, we’re continuing to invest in this particular product area.

In this context, Absolute is excited to announce two new product innovations:

Absolute Insights for Endpoints

A new add-on module that extends the current product capabilities for customers to not only visualize a snapshot of data points but look at data points over time to identify trends or abnormalities, as well as correlate specific data points based on the customer’s particular business needs. In turn, customers can derive real-time asset and security insights across their fleet to manage devices, maintain end user experience, and enforce security policies for the work-from-anywhere environment.

With the evolving business and work environment, there’s a clear need for IT and security practitioners to be able to access fleet-wide device and security trends to effectively manage their endpoints, enforce policies to adhere with internal policies or regulatory frameworks, and respond to risks whenever they arise. Absolute Insights™ for Endpoints empowers administrators with real-time insights into a variety of historical asset and security metrics across their device population, including OS patch health, software updates, application health and usage, geolocation, user behavior patterns, and sensitive data exposure to name a few. Absolute customers can access a set of pre-built dashboards or choose to create custom ones aligned with their organization’s internal policies.

Key capabilities include:

  • Real-time historical device and security trends across your entire device population
  • Ability to leverage a growing library of pre-built dashboards or create custom ones based on your organization’s policies
  • Customize dashboard timelines (specify by month, week, day, or hour) to obtain drilled-down information
  • Create data correlation from raw data points to identify abnormalities in device and security metrics
  • Create custom visualizations through tables, pie, bar, and line charts among others
  • Run queries across your device and security datapoints to search for and investigate anomalies

Absolute Insights for Endpoints helps organizations to tackle a variety of IT and security related challenges. Here are a few examples:

Category

Historical Trends

Data Investigations

Device Inventory

  • Changes in device battery health across endpoints over time
  • Weekly roll out of new BIOS or OS build versions
  • Devices with external monitors or USB drives
  • Number of devices in different AD domains
  • Devices encountering high number of memory usage or utilization issues

Applications

  • Weekly application installations to monitor the roll out of new apps and patches
  • Weekly change in usage or adoption of an application that was recently rolled out
  • Applications with the highest and lowest memory and CPU usage
  • Number of devices with a specific uncertified or vulnerable version of an application

Security and Compliance

  • Anti-malware and encryption status trends over a certain time period
  • Average data risk exposure across devices over time
  • Devices having old Windows OS patches deployed
  • Devices having a specific file stored containing sensitive information

User Behavior

  • Weekly web usage trends to understand the consumption of online content
  • Changes in number of off-network devices connecting from a home or a public network.
  • Users with the greatest number of logins from multiple devices
  • Devices with the greatest number of IP address or location changes

 

Absolute Insights for Endpoints is available for purchase as an add-on module and requires an existing subscription to either the Absolute Visibility, Control, or Resilience service tier.

Absolute Insights for Network

This month’s release of our Secure Access product line (formerly known as NetMotion) builds upon its existing diagnostics and experience monitoring capabilities, which Forrester Research praised as the ideal solution for the frontline workforce in their Forrester Wave: End User Experience Management, Q4 2020 report. The release enhances not only the telemetry collection experience but also the scope of data that is being collected.

Key capabilities include:

  • Broadened coverage area, including telemetry from 5G networks (e.g., signal quality, network availability, network coverage, and network usage) as well as Windows 11 and ARM devices.
  • Increased visibility into effectiveness of ZTNA policy enforcement (e.g., policy-blocked hosts/websites, addresses/ports, and web reputation), allowing for immediate impact analysis and further fine-tuning of ZTNA policies to minimize phishing, smishing, and malicious web destinations.
  • Addition of a connection status history dashboard to better analyze when mobile users are actively connected and working remotely as well as a dashboard that can be used by a super administrator to determine who viewed dashboards, when, and what specific filters were applied.
  • Updates to existing dashboards to account for 5G network reporting, Wi-Fi signal quality mapping, and line chart that displays the number of client connections to each server over a selected time.
  • Increased usability by removing data export limitations, allowing for filtering of individual carriers in the Cellular Coverage Map, amending telemetry data with Physical Cell Identifier (PCI) and Cell ID (when available), and supporting the creation of a look-up table to map non-friendly Wi-Fi BSSID names to user-friendly names displayed in dashboards.

These new product advancements allow customers to monitor, investigate, and remediate end user performance issues quickly and at scale on networks that are not owned or managed by the enterprise but used by its employees. Furthermore, they allow security practitioners to visualize security control efficacy by for example showing the number of blocked access requests, allowing for further tuning of enforcement policies.

Absolute Insights for Network is available as part of the company’s Secure Access product line (formerly NetMotion by Absolute).

For more information about Absolute Insights for Endpoints or Absolute Insights for Network, which entails our diagnostics and experience monitoring capabilities within our Secure Access solutions (formerly known as NetMotion Experience Monitoring), please contact as at [email protected].

Financial Services