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Ephemeral Device

Overview#

Ephemeral Device is a device that lasts for a short period of time.

Examples of devices that are often Ephemeral Device include Virtual Machines, containers, and certain unmanaged devices.

Ephemeral Devices might be best illustrated by the "pets" vs. "cattle" analogy often cited in cybersecurity.

Traditional servers and devices are the pets in this scenario. We care about them. We want them to live for a long time. If they get sick, we want to fix them.

However, Ephemeral Devices like Virtual Machines, containers, and other elastic are the cattle. They are one of many and considered expendable. We expect them to live for as long as we need them, and if something goes wrong we eliminate them and create a new one.

Ephemeral Devices often pose a major challenge to organizations. They represent potentially millions of unsecured, vulnerable instances in an environment.

Even the largest cybersecurity team will tap out on attempting to find, manage, and secure them all — especially when the very nature of Ephemeral Devices means they often go undetected by traditional asset management methods.

More Information#

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