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Endpoint Management Face-off: Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager vs Tanium
In this article, I give an overview of the two Endpoint managers SCCM and Tanium. I recommend Tanium for environments with more than just Windows Operating Systems as the features and useability are better. SCCM may be more suited for Windows only environments, and organizations with a large amount of Windows operating systems probably already have a license to SCCM. Read this article to find out how I have come to this conclusion.
Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager / SCCM
Microsoft Endpoint Manager / SCCM has been managing Windows since 1994
Microsoft EndPoint Manager, EndPoint Configuration Manager also known as MECM and formerly known as SCCM System Center Configuration Manager, confusing I know! Has been around for nearly 30 years first released in 1994 with Windows NT Server 3.5.
Most system administrators are familiar with Endpoint Configuration Manager and regularly still refer to it as SCCM. This is an advantage over other endpoint management solutions as hiring managers won’t have to worry if the system administrator will have had experience with Endpoint Manager at some point in their career.
This can also limit organizations to only using SCCM as that is what they know being hesitant to move to potentially better software.
Consistent and Reliable
When SCCM is up and running there are rarely issues and if there are google is quick to solve them. Endpoint Manager is nice in the fact that you can set it and forget it. Installing Endpoint Manager is fairly simple as well. It can however be complex to configure to certain types of environments.
Good For Basic Functions But Lacking Advanced Capabilities
SCCM has all you can expect from an endpoint management software. However, that is where it stops it can be complex to set up and can be time-consuming for system administrators to manage. One particular issue I have found is the patching of 3rd party applications is extremely frustrating. Endpoint Manager has limited security capabilities when compared to Tanium.
Best For Enterprises With Windows Operating Systems
Highly integrated with windows and most large enterprises will prefer Endpoint Manager for this reason. Having said that it does have capabilities to patch Linux distributions. However, the Intune plugin is required for phones and IoT devices which comes with additional licensing costs. End Point Manager can also struggle with some 3rd party applications.
Reporting and Scalability
SCCM provides detailed reporting on hardware, software, and security information allowing for fast-tracked troubleshooting for System Administrators. It is excellent for scalability as it is designed to manage thousands of devices/endpoints. At least for Windows environments, I have personally had struggles managing Linux systems with SCCM.
The user interface is not very pretty however it is very intuitive which makes it very easy to use. I found that most users new to Endpoint Manager were able to stumble their way around and eventually get familiar with the application. End Point Manager / SCCM can be complex and have a steep learning curve to master the software.
Microsoft provides comprehensive training materials and product courses, including SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager). The training materials are designed to help users understand and utilize the features and capabilities of SCCM effectively. These materials are typically detailed and thorough, providing step-by-step instructions and best practices to ensure users can use SCCM efficiently.
What is Tanium?
What is Tanium? Tanium cyber security-focused endpoint and systems-focused management software. In this article, I am reviewing the Tanium Platform. The software allows companies to secure their endpoints, including servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, in real time.
Innovative Platform Built From The Ground Up In 2007
Built in 2007 by father and son David Hindawi and Orion Hindawi, the current Tanium CEO, the company is now valued at US$10 billion. Tanium headquarters is located in headquarters in Kirkland, Washington. The Tanium company has a vital mission of improving cyber security. It has a single platform where everything can be managed within seconds, including patching and security controls, threat response, and more described below.
Tanium Performance Focuses On Global Speed, Scalability, And Security
High focus on speed, the interface is intuitive and easy on the eyes allowing system administrators or security professionals to quickly identify any issues and remediate them as soon as possible in a live environment.
A data minimization approach is taken to collecting data, also known as the collect-on-demand model, to store data and only contain logs as necessary. They are allowing data only to be collected as needed, not just collecting all data as it comes in. I see a lot of complaints about the Tanium agent being resource-heavy, and older systems can take a hit. However, in my experience configured correctly, this hasn’t been the case for me.
Broad Capabilities Across An Enterprise Ecosystem
Quickly becoming the solution for IT asset management, endpoint visibility with real-time data. The focus on cybersecurity continues with 24/7 threat detection keeping networks secure to an acceptable degree of accuracy. Search results returned as fast as 15 seconds, allowing administrators fast data to allow for decision-making.
One nice feature I found was data consumption detection for change management controls. One use case for this would be to detect unauthorized changes with data consumption seeing changes happening during irregular time frames. Whether an intruder to your network or an unapproved shift must be verified, this feature can add security capabilities across enterprise environments.
Tanium Threat Response
Solving multiple customer problems related to visibility and security search results returned as fast as 15 seconds allowing administrators fast data to allow for decision making. Detecting threats with this kind of accuracy and timeliness can help stop them before they evolve into the network.
The software offers a suitable platform that provides real-time monitoring and investigation of endpoint activity, automated hunting, early detection, and rapid remediation of threats. The platform is built to deliver all IT operations and security services from a single agent. It offers enterprise-wide questions that allow organizations to scope and remediate at scale.
Tanium modules have excellent visibility of endpoints and can log all changes and activities made on individual devices. They are allowing data privacy and policies to be adhered to.
Endpoint Management Tool With Quick Visibility and Control
Ease of use is one of the best features of the application. The difficulty of setting up Tanium patching can be a significant pain point for many system administrators and is often a reason for not wanting to implement it over SCCM. However, when set up correctly, Tanium is an order of magnitude better than SCCM.
The web console can remotely manage devices, allowing system administrators or the cyber security team to troubleshoot and resolve issues without physically being at the machine and allowing data privacy and policies to be adhered to.
Check out this latest demo video from which the CEO, Orion Hindawi, explains the benefits of Tanium’s platform for managing IT assets and sharing the real-time capabilities of the platform with an emphasis on the ease of using Tanium endpoint management.
It replaces endpoint solutions for patch management, asset management, and compliance, among other things. This is done through a single platform with a single set of APIs, a single console, a single infrastructure, and a single set of SMEs rather than having a proliferation of different tools.
Used by Fortune 500 and federal organizations
They are currently being implemented by many fortune 500 companies and many federal organizations. Some stand-out names I found are BAE Systems, Amazon, Target, GoDaddy, Honeywell, NHS, Barclays, Chevron, Nasdaq, JPMorgan Chase, The US Department of Defense, NASA, and the list goes on and on. Find out for information on their website https://www.tanium.com/.
In conclusion, both Endpoint Manager and Tanium are excellent endpoint management tools. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. Endpoint Manager is consistent, reliable, and ideal for enterprises with most Windows operating systems, while Tanium is innovative, scalable, and offers broad capabilities across a large enterprise ecosystem. Endpoint Manager lacks advanced capabilities and has limited security capabilities compared to Tanium, while Tanium has a data minimization approach and solves multiple customer problems related to visibility and security. Ultimately, the choice between these endpoint management software will depend on your organization’s specific needs and requirements. That being said, I have been using Tanium and prefer it over SCCM.
Let me know your experience with endpoint management software and your opinions on Tanium vs SCCM. What combination of solutions are you using to manage your endpoints?
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