Endpoint security is an organisations’ strategy and approach to maintaining the security of network endpoints and external devices that are directly connected to the IT infrastructure.
There are two types of Endpoint security approaches: Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) and Endpoint Detection and Remediation (EDR).
Endpoint Protection Platform is a way to vet all the files and data packets that enter a network through an endpoint. EPP scans those files, compares them alongside threats in the intelligence database, and checks whether the file meta-data or properties match any malicious threats.
Endpoint Detection and Remediation takes things a step further by providing round-the-clock monitoring of all applications and files that interact with a given device, not just those specific files that connect to the network.
Endpoint security will:
- Directly link to client devices from the central IT server.
- Limit threats to end-user by having a series of checkpoints and protocols that their devices must pass through when connecting to the network
- Rely on the EPP and EDR approaches to monitoring and vetting all files, packets, and applications that come in contact with your internal networks through an external device.
How does endpoint security work?
There are two ways endpoint security can scan, maintain, monitor, and protect your network from device-related threats. Those two models include client-server protection and Saas models.
- Client-server model: Client-server models refer to the traditional way IT teams practice their endpoint security strategy. Rather than relying on a cloud to maintain the database to store threat-related information, client servers store all the data and require that all the data is held locally. Client-server models require that the endpoint software be installed directly onto the device. They connect client, server, and network, allowing clients to mix and match software, hardware, and operations. While this flexibility is one of the more appealing aspects of client-server models, it’s also what makes it vulnerable to breaches in security.
- Saas model: The SaaS model is a cloud-based, third party host model. Rather than purchasing a physical copy of an application or endpoint software and installing it on your device, SaaS models rely on vendors to maintain and manage their endpoint security software through the cloud. This model helps free up the burden of keeping all the data locally. Data loss prevention SaaS solutions help protect intellectual property in both cloud applications and through endpoint devices. SaaS models remain popular for their flexibility, scalability, on-demand resources, fast implementation, easy updates, and more.
What is endpoint detection?
2013 decided that “endpoint threat detection and response,” otherwise known as endpoint detection and response or EDR, was an appropriate name for the emerging problem of detecting suspicious activities on endpoints. Since then, EDR has become a popular concept for professionals seeking to protect networks and minimise the risk that endpoints continue to pose.
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The purpose of EDR is to gain insights into the threats that could occur or have already occurred. That means MSPs detect potential or existing threats and take appropriate measures to prevent attacks or mitigate harm. Of course, this requires high-quality monitoring of endpoint systems and how they are used. But to effectively protect a customer’s network, simply looking for endpoint threats is not enough. The additional capabilities that MSPs need for effective endpoint detection include:
- Preventative measures: Because endpoints are so vulnerable, it isn’t advisable to wait until a threat occurs. With endpoints, it’s essential to implement as many proactive measures as possible.
- Mobile compatibility: Mobile devices spend more time offline. This means you’ll need to consider how to deal with threat detection or manage the device even when you don’t currently have direct access to the device.
- Automatic protection: With the right policies in place, endpoint systems should automatically neutralize many threats without MSP intervention.
- Alerting: Of course, MSPs can’t be expected to scan through their entire endpoint inventory manually. Automatic alerts are necessary if you hope to stay on top of potential threats for the dozens of endpoints your customers may use.
- Recovery and quarantine: If a threat is detected on an endpoint, your first round of defence may be to disconnect the device. You’ll then need to dig into the machine itself and figure out what happened, but this “quarantining” allows you to minimize the extent of the threat.
What is endpoint visibility?
Endpoint visibility means having meaningful insight into all managed devices. MSPs are already tasked with collecting data across challenging environments like cloud platforms and virtual machines, but it’s also essential to collect data from endpoints like mobile phones and laptops. By gathering and centralizing the right kind of data about individual endpoints, MSPs can quickly answer key visibility questions that help ensure overall network security. Potential questions about endpoints include the following:
- Are these all authorised devices?
- Which employees or guests are using these devices?
- Are all relevant applications updated or patched?
- Is a user attempting to access sensitive data or share files?
- Is there currently malware on any user’s system?
- What is the threat history of each device?
- Is any user attempting to use a USB drive?
- Is any device attempting to share or push a suspicious file?
- Is traffic regular across all endpoints?
What is an endpoint in cybersecurity?
Businesses because they tend to be poorly managed and almost always pose security risks. Endpoints are a unique challenge, but MSPs tasked with an organisation’s cybersecurity should be prepared to help their customers implement more effective strategies to protect their data.
To put it simply, endpoint security management is an issue because laptops and other wireless devices serve as potential entry points to the network but are typically not equipped with adequate security measures. They tend to be exposed to more risks than a regular workstation but face lower IT standards due to their nature as mobile, temporarily connected devices.
This makes endpoints appealing to hackers as easy targets for many types of malware. If these devices have full access to the internal network, it’s all too easy for threats to spread throughout the business. In addition, because they are mobile, it’s possible that the devices—and the data they have access to—could easily fall into the wrong hands.
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MSPs need to implement tools that provide comprehensive management solutions for these endpoints. Helping ensure endpoint security and adequate network protection includes:
Patches and updates
It can be challenging to enforce software updates across the network, let alone implement updates on endpoints. There must be a process to ensure that endpoint users aren’t using insecure or out-of-date versions of applications. You can also consider allowing specific applications and not others.
Policies are coded rules that allow you to specify and control how endpoints connect to the network. These policies will ideally be standard for mobile devices across the web, and endpoints must prove compliance before granted network access.
Access and control
Network access control is a crucial method for protecting your network and helping ensure no unauthorised devices are given access. This can mean that users must enter a username and password to gain entry. You can also restrict access to network data, control user behaviour (by blocking USB use or file access, for instance), and implement specific anti-threat initiatives like antivirus software. This is especially important for managing guest devices.
There are some reasons to check endpoints for threats. Most importantly, you want to make sure threats don’t spread from these devices to your internal network. But endpoints are also rich sources of threat data you can use to improve network protection more generally.
What is considered an endpoint?
An endpoint device itself is any internet-capable device that is connected to the network. These include:
- Mobile devices
- Thin (lean) clients
- IoT devices
What are the components of endpoint security?
So what should you expect a robust endpoint security solution to entail? What are the various components and functionalities that you should be looking for?
- Cutting-edge antivirus, antispyware, and antimalware tools that scan, detect, and remove viruses present on endpoint devices and systems
- Advanced firewalls, either client or cloud-based, that act as gateways within the IT infrastructure
- Application whistling capabilities that enable IT administrators, to monitor and exercise control over which applications are permitted on network endpoints
- A robust Network Access Control system that authenticates users matches its compliance with security policies and restrictions permission depending on its current security compliance status.
- Data encryption to protect emails, endpoints, and databases
- Host Intrusion Prevention Systems that monitor host devices for suspicious activity by analysing event logs
- Proactive forensics capabilities that allow admins to identify, isolate, and remove threats
- Features that rely on machine learning and automation to provide real-time, round-the-clock monitoring and threat detection
The challenges of endpoint security monitoring
Early detection of endpoint attacks is vital, but without a team of security experts to manage and monitor EDR and other endpoint monitoring technologies around the clock, organisations will be unable to achieve the security outcomes these tools can deliver.
Endpoint monitoring solutions ingest a considerable amount of data, and the greater the number of devices and applications that are monitored, the more security alerts that result. This causes growing complexity that can be difficult to manage for in-house teams, who often lack the specialist security training required to make sense of them.
In addition, getting the best from endpoint monitoring technologies like EDR requires good threat intelligence. Out of the box, most EDR solutions won’t provide this, nor the necessary custom rulesets to proactively identify the latest threats. Specialist security expertise is required to configure and tune chosen technologies and build detection processes tailored to an organisation’s specific risk profile.
Without adequate resources, alert fatigue is inevitable, and expensive technologies can quickly become obsolete. The unavoidable consequence of these challenges is increased exposure to cyber threats. In an attempt to bridge the gap, organisations are increasingly looking for outside help to build endpoint detection and response capabilities.
Managed endpoint monitoring
An endpoint security monitoring service is a helpful option for any organisation looking to improve endpoint visibility and quickly elevate its ability to detect, respond to and remediate endpoint security threats.
Critically, enlisting the assistance of an external provider could also help organisations develop a threat hunting capability. By combining manual and machine-assisted techniques to seek out threats that bypass existing defences, threat hunting helps to shut down known and unknown threats in their infancy.
Threat hunting is resource-intensive, requiring a deep understanding of the tactics, techniques and procedures of cybercriminals. Buyers should look for an organisation with not just an established managed security offering but also a strong level of offensive security expertise to help develop the EDR rulesets required.
Why should your Organisation consider Endpoint monitoring?
Organisations are increasingly recognising that they may operate in a sector that is targeted by cyber threat actors. This could be due to factors like intellectual property or personally identifiable information (PII) that they may hold. Moreover, their susceptibility could even change overnight based on matters outside of their immediate control, such as comments made by employees via social media.
Our blended EDR methodology has been specifically created to maximise the likelihood of identifying evidence of compromise. At a high level, this consists of:
- Intelligence-driven detection;
- Behavioural analysis; and,
- Outlier and anomaly detection.
Proactive Endpoint Monitoring
Proactively Monitor Your Endpoints with API Tests
Alert on the global performance and availability of any endpoint.
- Validate all layers of your systems (HTTP, SSL, TCP, and DNS) from several locations
- Quickly test actions that require verification, chain HTTP requests, and execute API calls sequentially with Multistep API tests.
- Conduct root cause analyses faster with breakdowns of network timing.
- Receive alerts for only the issues that matter and eliminate false-positive with composite alerts
Monitor Any Environment from Your Secured Private Locations
Gain visibility into internal and external apps from inside your network.
- Quickly deploy and scale with our integrations with Docker, Kubernetes, and more.
- Create custom locations in areas that are mission-critical to your business
- Compare application performance as experienced by users from both inside & outside the internal network.
Resolve Issues Before Users Are Impacted
Ensure that essential user experiences are preserved with fully hosted, automated tests for critical business transactions and user journeys.
- Proactively monitor Core Web Vitals scores in any environment
- Conduct root cause analyses quickly and troubleshoot performance before users notice with Datadog’s APM integration
Spend Less Time Maintaining Your Tools & Automate Testing
Stay focused on building new features, not fixing brittle tests.
- Intelligent, Self-Maintaining Browser Tests update themselves by re-identifying elements even as the UI evolves throughout development
- Eliminate false positives due to broken tests and create composite alerts
- Minimise time spent updating scripted tests throughout the entire development cycle
Reduce Mean Time to Resolution with Full-Stack Visibility
Accelerate development with an end-to-end context in a single platform and break down silos.
- See metrics, traces, and logs in the context of test runs without having to switch between various platforms
- Visualise uptime data alongside crucial business metrics
- Discover issues earlier by running synthetic tests in your continuous integration workflow
Endpoint log monitoring with Log360
The bulk of network activity occurs on endpoints. Your end-users use these systems to perform their daily tasks, so monitoring these devices is crucial to your network security. Log360 helps you gain a clear understanding of all activities occurring in your network endpoints. It provides a wide range of reports and alerts to allow you to audit various kinds of events on your Windows and Linux systems, including:
Gain an overall view of events occurring on your endpoints, classified by their severity level. Identify the machines that are throwing numerous warnings or errors. You can also view critical events and spot trends in how often they occur across your network.
Audit critical system events such as machine startups and shutdowns, clock changes, license changes, and hard disk failures. These may not typically be audited but still provide a wealth of information about how things are faring at a hardware level on your systems.
All organisations have a software use policy that governs what kinds of software users can or cannot install. You can monitor adherence to these policies by auditing endpoints for all software installations and changes. You can also watch the execution of allowed applications and receive information on application crashes and errors.
Removable disk activity
Removable devices are potential data exfiltration points, and their use must be monitored carefully. Log360 provides detailed reports on removable disk activity to help you understand which users are using external storage media and on which devices.
Registry values dictate several low-level settings for your Windows machines and applications (for example, printer settings or the location from where a program will launch). It’s essential to monitor changes to the registry to ensure no unauthorised changes are being made.
Login and session activity
Get detailed information on successful and failed user logins. Log360 even gives you a live view of active users on the network with its session activity monitoring reports, which come complete with a session duration timer. You can drill down further into each session to generate a timeline of events during that session.
Endpoint solution information
Log360 provides detailed reports for various crucial endpoint security solutions such as threat solutions, antivirus software, and vulnerability scanners. These reports give you a central view of threats and vulnerabilities detected across your network endpoints.
Log360 analyses millions of events from your network endpoints to help you understand how they’re being used. You can easily audit activities on endpoints from this central console using the hundreds of reports available, set up alerts for critical events, or even use the powerful search engine to find the exact circumstances you need. Check out Security Systems’ range of high-end Melbourne home security for your home protection needs.