The End is Near: Navigating End of Life of Physical Security Devices
What is EOL?
End-of-Life (EOL) is a term a manufacturer uses to indicate a device has reached the end of its lifespan and will no longer be sold or supported. This generally occurs because a newer model has entered the market, and the manufacturer wants to give a push to upgrade to a new device.
Why is managing EOL important?
Most businesses use a variety of physical security devices purchased from different vendors. Each device has its own recommended lifecycle, and each manufacturer offers a range of warranties and service plans to cover these device lifecycles. It is essential to stay on top of all the EOL dates and any required updates for your entire fleet of physical security devices. Managing EOL dates for physical security devices will ensure that your organization maximizes its IT assets. For example, devices that are past their EOL but are still within warranty are still supported by the manufacturer, and in some cases, it may be prudent to continue using those devices even after the EOL date. Teams can also use EoL as a planning tool as it serves as a warning about the device’s End of Service (EOS), the date when firmware updates, security patches, and manufacturer support will no longer be available.
Complexities of managing EOL
Managing EOL for physical security devices is not as simple as having an Excel spreadsheet with a list of dates. Understanding the EoL date can be complex as every manufacturer has its own approach. Some manufacturers make it easier than others to find accurate dates. Also, since EoL dates can change at the manufacturer’s discretion, there may be conflicting or incorrect dates listed on the Excel spreadsheet.
It is also necessary to manage the firmware that comes with these devices. Some manufacturers have a 1:1 relationship between firmware and physical security device model, while others have universal firmware that covers a range of devices.
The larger the organization, the more complex EOL management can be. Staying on top of EOL is nearly impossible for enterprise organizations that deploy various models of devices multiplied by the different device types from multiple manufacturers, all of which were onboarded at different times. Add to this the complexities involved when individuals within the organization make device acquisitions or onboard new devices without the involvement of the person responsible for managing these devices. The result is a hodge-podge that no Excel spreadsheet could ever contain.
What is the risk of unmanaged EOL?
Using physical security devices that have surpassed their EOL is a risk – both a physical safety risk and a cyber security risk. If your access control panels or surveillance cameras suddenly cease functioning because they are beyond their prime, your people and property could be in danger. In addition, unsecured devices are a common cyber vulnerability that opens the door to a breach. For example, if a manufacturer releases a critical security patch, the patch will be incompatible with devices that have passed their EOL date.
EOL devices will also cause your organization to be out of compliance with relevant local and industry regulations. Non-compliance is a hot topic these days and can have severe financial and reputational repercussions for a business.
Unmanaged EOL can also drain your budget. Don’t be the organization that scrambles to replace its entire fleet, paying top dollar because the EOL date is fast approaching. Clear visibility into the timeline for all your physical security devices is critical for financial planning. Spreading the replacement costs of thousands of devices over the years will maximize budgets and eliminate any unpleasant surprises involved with replacing fleets of devices in one-go, allowing your team to prioritize maintenance and purchasing activities.
Horizon: Visibility through a single pane of glass
SecuriThings Horizon is a software-only solution that allows the operational management of physical security devices to take place in a consolidated, automated, and secure manner while providing real-time visibility and control. Once deployed, the solution provides full visibility into the EOL timeline of the entire fleet of devices, as well as suggested replacement models for a seamless replacement process.
For more information about how your organization can benefit from centralized EoL management, you can schedule a demo here.