Pick up your Automation Strategy by Codifying your Endpoint Fleet

The IT landscape has undergone significant changes in the last few years. If IT leaders had known at the start of 2020 that their entire workforce would have to migrate to the virtual world within the next five months, they would have panicked. Given the quick pace of change, IT teams across the globe were challenged to identify meaningful technology-enabled strategies to migrate to a remote work environment without jeopardizing employee and customer experience management or disrupting business continuity.

Endpoint Management, Then and Now

Managers utilized custom images while setting systems to get new staff ready for work, and IT endpoint management used to be a simple game. This was a simple manual operation, and organizations promptly deployed techniques with the necessary configurations, applications, and security settings. IT could recognize and rectify issues with specific systems even during deployment, with minimal impact on other devices in the network. Servers used to be housed in physical data centres, where managers could locate and access them as needed. Endpoint management nowadays is far from predictable or pleasant. To make work more convenient and flexible, users bring their own devices to work and run their programs. Organizations frequently delegate operations management to browser-based third parties, allowing consumers to retain complete administrative control over their devices.

Servers have also evolved significantly and are now more likely to be hybrid models that combine physical and cloud servers or fully cloud models controlled by administrators, rather than being entirely material things situated in a data centre. Opportunities in IT have expanded because of the tremendous changes we've seen in recent years, and some of them have been taken advantage of by businesses.

Let's look at how endpoint automation has evolved in 2022 and the trends that will emerge in the coming years.

#1: From Endpoints to Workloads & Data

Cybercriminals continue to target endpoint vulnerabilities and innovate on how they use identities and stolen information to get beyond conventional barriers and get access to your data and sensitive company information. Endpoint device protection is expanding beyond traditional endpoint management to support other resources including applications, cloud devices, authentication, and information, as work and personal endpoint devices become more common on corporate networks. Organizations must now take an identity-based strategy to protect their endpoint devices throughout the network. Businesses must secure all essential areas of enterprise risk—endpoints devices, identities, and data— with solutions that provide hyper-accurate intercepts, automated protection and remediation, threat assumption and prioritized vulnerability observability. Vital IT hygiene with an asset inventory and regular vulnerability management is also required to defend modern-day endpoint devices, regardless of operating systems.

#2: Better BYOD Support

According to a security firm – Barracuda Networks, pandemic-related phishing assaults increased by 667% after the outbreak. Seemingly, attackers consider remote work environments more exposed to security vulnerabilities than gated office environments. The pandemic forced businesses to confront the issues of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Many firms have implemented tighter BYOD policies and enhanced workflows for better endpoint management. Enterprises have introduced better support for securely deploying apps, adding accounts to personal devices, and providing endpoint users with some lightweight control and enablement. The goal is to get individuals functioning in as secure a manner as feasible.

#3: Endpoint & Patching Blend

With so many different endpoint tools available, the choice is hard to make. While organizational needs might vary, it is important to note that IT doesn't have time to jump from screen to screen across multiple tools to deal with endpoint devices and their issues. This makes a single solution with all endpoint management capabilities a necessity. . . Endpoint managers are beginning to leak into the patch management area, implementing newer and better policies than traditional patch management practitioners that employed management frameworks. Adding patch management to device management implies enhanced security thanks to the continually improving update delivery techniques.

Complexities Surrounding Endpoint Management

The average enterprise worker uses more than two devices to complete job responsibilities. Employees complete half of all business tasks when they are physically off-site, and 93% of businesses rely on IT services in non-industry-controlled environments, such as public clouds. These activities, taken together, produce complex management needs that overburden typical manual end-to-end device management systems, rendering them useless in many circumstances. Growing requirements for security assurance in application delivery and higher expectations from the workforce in terms of speed and consistency in endpoint configuration management are all putting pressure on the long-term viability of long-accepted endpoint management methods.

Workers today expect to be able to use whatever devices they want, whenever they want, with fast, on-demand access to all the IT resources they need. Modern firms must use more dynamic and intelligent management procedures and automated solutions to react to rising requirements and environmental complexity effectively. On the other hand, fulfilling these objectives frequently increases security risks while also raising management work and expenses.

Three Reasons why Codifying your Fleet's Endpoint Strategy is a Good Idea

Managing Endpoint State as Code with Chef

Managing configurations and security policies with MDM solutions has been challenging for IT Teams since the onset of remote work. But with Chef, IT administrators can quickly implement, declare, and configure management capabilities through comprehensive automation engines. This use case of treating laptops or desktops as any other endpoint, allowing Chef to manage a server on-premises or in the cloud, is not exclusive. Chef Desktop combines infrastructure config management automation along with security and compliance management automation to manage your entire endpoint state seamlessly. The automation of the entire infrastructure helps in solving some of the repetitive issues that sysadmins/IT Managers might face on a daily basis.

How does Endpoint automation work?

Chef is a configuration management solution that makes codifying and pushing endpoints to the Chef Server a simple. The Chef client runs on laptops on a regular basis and downloads configurations from the Chef Server, restoring devices to their ideal state if there is a configuration drift.
Cookbooks are Chef artefacts in which configurations are specified as code. Chef provides resources, which are code abstractions that may be used to easily configure your end user machines. Chef resources are more legible and versatile than anything you can do with a GUI or even scripts. Because the code is version controlled, all modifications to your cookbook are thoroughly vetted and verified before being deployed to your laptop fleet, and they can be simply undone if necessary.

This eliminates mistakes and time wasted from manual processes, thereby increasing organizational velocity. Chef can help automate the infrastructure configuration, update management and continuous compliance of your laptop/desktop estate, helping your organization maintain consistent configuration and compliance standards across your enterprise. Furthermore, it allows you to gain continuous visibility into the configuration and compliance state of IT resources across the enterprise using a single tool.


Apart from the benefits mentioned above, Chef's automatic remediation feature, according to users, has resolved irregularities that IT Admins face in managing endpoints within their infrastructure, giving them more time to focus on meaningful creative tasks, with most repetitive tasks now completely automated, resulting in increased productivity.


We will discuss more of what Chef can do to transform your organization’s automation strategy in a webinar on July 6th, 2022 at 10:00 AM PT.
Sudeep Charles, Senior Manager, Product Marketing, and Chaithra Mailankody, Associate Product Manager at Chef, will discuss current endpoint management trends and concerns, as well as how Chef Desktop, which focuses on codifying your fleet, can assist you in improving your endpoint automation game. The panel will also address all of your questions during the Q&A session.
If the content of this blog piques your interest, you should definitely register for the webinar to see how Chef can help you achieve your IT fleet management goals.



Sudeep Charles

Sudeep Charles is a Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Progress. Over a career spanning close to two decades, Sudeep has held various roles in product development, product marketing, and business development for Cybersecurity, Fintech, and Telecom enterprises. Sudeep holds a Bachelors degree in Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.