Zero trust and UES lead Gartner’s Hype cycle in 2021 to endpoint security

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An increase towards remote work has caused the company’s inventories to grow in ways that no one had expected. It coincided with a drastic leap in cybersecurity threats at the endpoint. This is the compelling background to Gartner’s latest Hype Cycle for Endpoint Security.

The report makes clear that new Unified Endpoint Security Technologies (UES) are an important consolidation platform to manage the various parts of a cybersecurity technology stack. Chief information security officers need to protect unmanaged endpoints that are new to their network and need the flexibility to manage them on a single platform.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Endpoint Security, 2021 examines how information security executives can achieve their goals while reducing costs and improving visibility and control. This year’s Hype cycle prioritizes UES as the solution that information security managers need to secure their endpoints. Based on conversations that VentureBeat has had with information security executives and CIOs, momentum in the endpoint security market is accelerating as cybersecurity teams rush to close the gaps in their endpoint infrastructure and avert potential breaches before they happen.

According to Gartner, the global security software market grew 10.3% in 2020, reaching $ 49.7 billion in annual revenue. The top five segments with the highest growth rates are application security testing, access control, endpoint protection platform (enterprise), secure email gateways, and identity management and administration. The endpoint protection platform (enterprise) category is the second fastest growing segment of the global security market, reaching $ 8.8 billion in 2020 (and 20% CAGR). The top five vendors are Microsoft, McAfee, Norton LifeLock, IBM and Broadcom.

Practical advice from Hype Cycle

This Hype Cycle’s most practical piece of advice comes from its proposal to organize new technologies to provide the leaders of information security, CIOs and cybersecurity teams with real-time threat assessments and asset management data within a single data lake.

A single data lake approach to unified endpoint security brings endpoint security under control on a comprehensive platform that reduces risks and costs and improves asset management. According to the heads of information security and CIOs VentureBeat, who were interviewed for this article, self-healing endpoints will form a baseline requirement for all budgeted cybersecurity purchases by 2022.

Here’s what’s new in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Endpoint Security, 2021. A total of 18 technologies are shown in the report this year, down from 20 last year. Technologies that were removed from the Hype cycle this year include browser isolation, virtual mobile infrastructure (VMI) and secure enterprise data communications, while VDI / DaaS endpoint security has been added. Clearly, secure virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) connections have become a priority over the last two years given the rapid growth of virtual meetings, remote training sessions and sales calls . VDI / DaaS helps prevent virtual sessions from being hijacked, while ensuring the identity of each virtual participant without compromising bandwidth.

Graph showing Gartner's safety Hype Cycle with expected overtime

Above: Safety hype cycle

Image credit: Gardener

The following are key insights from Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Endpoint Security, 2021:

  • Gartner sees an increase in zero trust network access (ZTNA) initiatives across their corporate customers today. The hype cycle’s conclusion of zero confidence is consistent with what key information security officers tell VentureBeat about their roadmaps, pilots and zero confidence plans. In almost every conversation VentureBeat has with the heads of information security in financial services and manufacturing, zero trust is first mentioned as a business decision. Scaling endpoint security across new digital revenue models is the goal. Even before President Joe Biden’s announcement of improving the nation’s cybersecurity, 160 cybersecurity providers claimed to have zero trust-based products and cloud services. Interest in zero confidence continues to surpass the broader cyber security market and will grow more than 230% by 2020 during 2019, according to Gartner.
  • The scale of ZTNA products has been expanded beyond web applications to support a wider range of applications and protocols, illustrating a faster pace of innovation. Gartner notes that the current generation of ZTNA applications has enhanced user experiences, increased flexibility, and improved persona and role-based adaptability. Gartner also notes that “cloud-based ZTNA offerings improve scalability and usability.” Absolute Software’s acquisition of NetMotion is a prerequisite for positioning the combined companies to deliver what CISOs are looking for in a ZTNA solution. Other companies in the ZTNA space to watch include Ericom – which includes ZTNA and other technologies in the cycle, such as remote browser isolation, secure web gateway and CASB – in its ZTEdge Zero Trust Cloud Security platform. Ivanti Neurons for Zero Trust Access uses machine learning to streamline security policies, compliance, and least privileged access across users, devices, and applications to ensure network micro-segmentation is in place. Additional ZTNA vendors to see are Akamai, Appgate, Cato Networks, Netskope, Perimeter 81, Proofpoint and SAIFE.
  • Unified endpoint management (UEM) earns respect during the pandemic and sees adoption increase. The UEM proved its worth during the pandemic by uniting identity, security and remote access in support of ZTNA architectures, now considered crucial to secure workforce everywhere. Like ZTNA, there has been rapid innovation in UEM over the last 12 to 18 months with the goals of reduced security and compliance risks coupled with support for multiple devices and operating systems. The advantages of UEM – which include streamlining ongoing OS updates across multiple mobile devices and platforms, enables device management and has an architecture capable of supporting a wide range of devices and operating systems – is that companies want to expand their use of UEM. Another major benefit companies mention is automation of Internet-based patching, policy, and configuration management. UEM executives include Ivanti, which provides its customers with additional security solutions integrated into its UEM platform, including password-free multifactor authentication (its Zero Sign-On feature) and mobile threat defense (MTD). Additional vendors to see in UEM include Blackberry, Citrix and Sophos.

The typical enterprise tech stack loads itself to support the influx of new unmanaged devices on networks when it comes to cybersecurity. It is common to find endpoint detection and response (EDR), mobile threat protection (MTD) and endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) overloaded with custom fixes to support device inventories that no one expected to grow so fast.

Gartner’s latest Hype cycle for endpoint security makes the case that unified endpoint security is an important platform for bringing together the various pieces of tomorrow’s cybersecurity technology. Endpoint security providers must accept the challenge and increase their pace of innovation to curb ransomware and worse cyber attacks reaching record levels this year.


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