Five Reasons why your Business must have Endpoint Security
The last 12 months have seen remote working rise to near 70% of the global workforce. This is without a doubt a staggering number of people that have needed to change their working practices. No one could have predicted this surge, but unfortunately, the events of Covid have required that businesses adapt if they wanted to survive.
This increase in remote working has seen a rise in cyber threats worldwide with people using non-secure home networks and devices. General residential security practices are often immature and lax, and so hackers are on the hunt to expose and exploit vulnerabilities. Never has endpoint security been more critical for your business so let’s delve deeper.
What is Endpoint security, and why should your business have it?
Firstly, what is an Endpoint?
An endpoint is usually a device that serves as a point of entry or exit into a business’s infrastructure or network. These devices often include one of the following.
> Desktop Computers
> Laptop Computers
> Smart Phones
> Point of sales terminals
They usually provide a specific function and often have some user interaction via them, and so susceptible to cyber threats.
What is Endpoint Security?
Endpoint security is a solution or service that a business adopts to protect its infrastructure, networks, servers, applications and devices. It is a practice that provides security and controls across your IT infrastructure estate from hackers that are looking to exploit vulnerabilities. The majority of endpoint security solutions are designed to assess, analyse, block and alert against any attack or suspicious activity.
The Top Five Reasons for Endpoint Security for your Company
Teck Genius specialise in cybersecurity solutions covering all aspects of infrastructure and applications. The past few years have seen a significant rise in customer enquiries and concerns around their servers, desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Our approach to cybersecurity and, thus, endpoint security is holistic. By this, we mean that it needs to be part of a broader cyber strategy plan that your business and users follow.
1. Continuous Cyber Threats: The world is evolving, and with more people drives more data. That, in turn, means opportunity and vulnerabilities. Hackers are opportunists by nature and will not stop trying if they know you exist. So cybersecurity and endpoint security needs to be in place and operationally effective. Software vulnerabilities, lax security on firewalls, phishing emails, easy user passwords are all points of interest for hackers. Having the right endpoint security software as part of a broader cyber capability has never been more critical.
2. Increased Remote Working: Regardless of the events of 2020, remote working is only going to increase. The availability of 5G and faster networks means that users want to access things faster. This means their user behaviours will change, and the risk of data security compromise will increase. Users want to access their information from anywhere, and businesses want to have a competitive advantage, so providing anytime-anywhere access has inherent risk. Ensuring you have the right endpoint security and protection in place will limit that risk and exposure.
3. Device Security and Management: The majority of endpoint security solutions offer device management capability. They can manage, monitor, alert, report, and wipe devices proactively and on-demand. This capability should be in your business’ arsenal as part of the broader endpoint management solution.
4. Data Leakage: Users can be your best and worse defence against cyber threats. If they are aware of cyber threats and have received training, they will be better armed to know what to look for. Even the most diligent of user cannot fully protect themselves against new and emerging endpoint security threats. The deployment of endpoint software can reduce this very risk and block any attempt of system compromise.
5. Audit and Monitoring: Many businesses are in industries that stipulate audit and monitoring controls. The ability to justify and validate events and occurrences means that you need to have a robust endpoint management solution in place.
The Benefits of an Endpoint Security Solution
The endpoint security solution market is strong, and several vendors provide leading-edge protection solutions and services. The likes of Bitdefender Gravity Zone, Crowd Strike, Sophos, McAfee, Symantec, SentinelOne and WebRoot are all enterprise vendors with leading solutions.
The functionality and capability of each of the solutions above vary, but nearly all have the same protection capabilities.
Let us now look at what these endpoint security solutions provide and how they can reduce your cybersecurity risk.
Eight Endpoint Security services that any Endpoint Security Solution must have
1. Anti-virus and Anti-malware: Hands down, this will be one of the most popular capabilities that an endpoint security solution will provide. Having this will protect your endpoints from the most common threats. Many endpoint solutions work on one of two detection mechanisms a) signature-based or b) behaviour based. Both have their benefits and boast of high detection rates. Next Generation anti-virus solutions work on behaviour-based detection and have become more popular (at least from a sales perspective!). However, anti-virus solutions can often provide a false sense of security as zero-day vulnerabilities are often missed, as are dormant script-based malware attacks. So, Teck Genius always recommends that this functionality forms part of a broader endpoint security solution.
2. URL Filtering: Web filtering works by comparing where you want to get to with a database of known site vulnerabilities and then blocks or allows depending on your configuration and risk appetite. It plays a critical part in stopping any attacks that have stemmed from phishing or malware compromise. Both of these attack vectors require the payload to connect to a web site or web service to receive instructions or dupe users to provide information.
3. Network Access Control: Another important protection capability that allows or blocks access to and from other locations. It works on a set of rules and behaviour criteria and complements web security and identity and access.
4. Application Control: Applications can be a source of security concern due to vulnerabilities always being exposed. Once an application’s vulnerability has gone public, a hacker will try their best to connect or create malware payloads to take advantage of it. A recent example was the SolarWinds attack that has affected over 100 corporate networks. So being able to whitelist applications based on rules and security criteria is a welcomed capability for any endpoint.
5. Browser Isolation: Endpoints usually access the Internet via browsers or browser integration. This introduces significant risk to your infrastructure as it is relying on your browser to be patched. However, that is not the only issue. Malware can make its way on to your endpoints from compromised websites and so can execute without a user knowing. Once it has executed, it has the potential to cause severe damage to your systems. Browser isolation protects any browsing activity and payload by running it all in an isolated environment restricting access to the operating system. Once the browser session is closed, all data and information are erased without a trace.
6. Endpoint Encryption: Probably the most overlooked capability for a company but the most effective in securing your data. Encryption allows you to disguise data so that it is unreadable unless decrypted. It also provides an extra layer of protection if you ever suffer data leakage, as even if the data is compromised, a hacker will still need to decrypt it somehow.
7. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR): One of the newer capabilities and immensely powerful, EDR is fast becoming a de-facto standard in the endpoint security arsenal. Being able to detect and respond to all threats is a powerful protection capability. Many of the solutions also fix and rollback any damage from compromises in real-time and so provide an extra layer of protection (especially from zero-day threats). In addition, the reporting capability from an EDR system can inform and alert your endpoints’ actual state and refine your overall endpoint security capability.
8. Sandboxing: Slightly like browser isolation, sandboxing runs processes (and applications) in protected memory spaces ensuring not to affect anything else on the endpoint. A critical capability to contain zero-day threats and one that is strongly recommended.
So, there you have it. We hope this article has helped you to understand (and hopefully) review your endpoint security solution and service.