why is continuous monitoring an important element of security

Why Do We Need Endpoint Security?

End-point security aims to keep endpoints safe from malicious attacks and hackers. For a long time, organisations employed software such as antivirus to protect end-points, but as hackers' methods become more advanced, more sophisticated measures are needed. A proper end-point security solution must protect the end-points from malware, DDoS attacks and much more. With an efficient endpoint security solution, you can secure.

The networks and devices of your organisation Cloud hosting Data storage Employees that prefer working remotely Partners and vendors of your organisation On-site staff activity To provide your organisation with thorough end-point security, you need to understand what information needs to be protected. You should detect sensitive data and which members of the staff have access. The second step is choosing the appropriate solution that fits the needs of your organisation and the nature of the sensitive information.

You were reviewing which staff has access to what data is an integral part of this step. After implementing the right solution for the end-points in your network, you must regularly check your security precautions. Moreover, you must regularly test for vulnerabilities and take necessary steps to keep the security posture of your organisation up-to-date.

Why Is Endpoint Security Important?

As technology advances, many employees opt for working remotely or doing business activities on mobile devices and off-site devices. As a result, the sensitive information of your organisation is exposed to a greater risk each day. If you don’t invest in proper end-point security solutions, your data will likely be breached. Moreover, the data provided by Absolute indicates that more than 70% of all data breaches are caused by the vulnerabilities of end-points.

Endpoint devices are all the machines connected via the Internet into the network that's the technical heart of your business. This term describes all your desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, POS systems, printers, scanners and tablets. Anything that your employees use to communicate with one another and share data can also be vulnerable.

Endpoint security management is the policy you create to ensure all the endpoint devices in your network maintain certain levels of security and safety. It's part of a comprehensive cybersecurity program that's a modern-day requirement for small local businesses and giant multinational corporations. Think of it less as an insurance policy and more of a well-lit alarm system to stop hackers who are mining your valuable data.

Endpoint Security And The Network

Endpoint security software uses encryption and application control to secure devices accessing the enterprise network, thereby better controlling security on those avenues of access to monitor and block risky activities. Encrypting data on endpoints and removable storage devices helps to protect against data leaks and loss. Application control prevents endpoint users from executing unauthorised applications that could create vulnerabilities in the network.

Endpoint security solutions often use a client-server model of protection, employing both a centrally managed security solution to protect the network and client software locally installed on each endpoint used to access that network. Some work on a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, by which both central and endpoint security solutions are maintained remotely.

Endpoint Security And Anti-Virus Software

why do we need endpoint security

Anti-virus software is central to endpoint security; it does not always protect individual devices and servers. Implementing endpoint protection creates a two-pronged approach to security by also securing personal devices that connect to the network. Using an endpoint security approach makes endpoints more heavily responsible for security than anti-virus software protecting the web alone.

Modern Endpoint Security Is Important

First, modern endpoint security does feature anti-malware protection; while it may not represent the primary threat to your enterprise in a direct sense, they still constitute a real danger. 

Ransomware can still damage if not destroy your workflows and databases, and cryptocurrency mining malware can damage your internal processors. Fileless malware could steal finances and data without triggering monitoring protections. 

However, endpoint security is essential for far more than its antivirus prowess. Indeed, other key capabilities add to endpoint security’s importance. For example, endpoint security can help regulate data traffic through data loss prevention; this monitors ingoing and outgoing communications for sensitive data—data that should not leave your enterprise. 

Moreover, endpoint security can exhibit email security. This prevents malicious emails from reaching your employees in the first place, keeping phishing emails from negligent users. Simultaneously, email security works with a next-generation firewall to help protect against malicious traffic. Next-generation firewalls can examine the messages of possible malware and discover them in real-time.    

Additionally, endpoint security provides port control and application control capabilities, which prove essential to modern cybersecurity. Port control monitors the USB and other connecting ports to ensure viruses and other attacks don’t penetrate through there. 

Meanwhile, application controls prevent applications from moving from endpoint to endpoint without monitoring. These keep data centralised on critical endpoints without unwarranted movements and limit digital infection spreads.

Companies invest in a cybersecurity system and are lenient in gauging how effective their cybersecurity posture is.

Businesses are empowered with digitisation, and technology has taken the upper hand to help users connect to the internet for official and personal demands. Now comes the time to boggle up your minds – are the businesses online secured from cyber threats and hence security beaches.. are all the applications and operating systems updated with security patch fixes beforehand or on time??.. If your answer is a NO – then your businesses and customers are in no doubt susceptible to malicious threats, and it can in no time be taken over by the hackers.

Securing the endpoints is a severe concern of late – most of the business is not sure if their workstations are secure, and while some are not conscious about securing the endpoints.

Following are some of the reasons why endpoints are vulnerable to cyber threats

  •  Endpoints are configured and installed; nevertheless, organizations are ignorant and assume that their endpoints are highly secured, and they don’t have to bother about it.
  • Organisations follow written policies where employees are to ensure if the workstations and endpoints are up-to-date – Organisations trust employees that they have their endpoints updated with patches.
  • Organisations set automated rules, and they rely on them. One such direction is to automate updates and patch fixes for their workstations and hence completely trust the software to update the security patches.

Unfortunately, none of the above mentioned is reliable to protect endpoints or to ensure that the endpoints are patched for security fixes. You cannot just rely on the software that has been initially set to automate the patch updates instantly. Automation is more likely to break down and does not ensure consistent support for the patch updates. Employees are to reboot the system once the updates are done. However, when they are given the option to control the system, they tend to switch off the automation settings and miss out on the update alerts to be productive.

Understanding the importance of Endpoint Protection – It is advisable to fix the patches as and when a new patch release comes on board. Assign employees to take control and manage the endpoints for protection, Ensure policies and equip the individual in charge to formulate patch management processes to monitor to perform daily. Individuals are to check the results of the latest patch update.

The endpoint protection and management can be outsourced to the third-party–managed service providing companies who can be dedicated to manage and control the deployment and results of patches by installing an application on each PC to ensure improved endpoint security.

From Standard Cybersecurity Measures to Endpoint Security

Even the most successful cyber-security system in the industry is prone to vulnerabilities and security loopholes. These vulnerabilities stand a medium to let the vulnerabilities enter your IT corporate network. The endpoint security system is developed to protect the endpoints connected to the corporate network from vulnerable malicious threats. It provides a centralized method to secure the IT network by examining its endpoints like smartphones, Pcs, IoT devices, and laptops.

With current trends in BYOD practices and with increased mobile threats, the need for an effective endpoint security system is vital.

Deploying an endpoint security system allows enterprises to take control over all the entry points to block malware entry attempts while it also works well to remove cyber threats. Endpoint security includes securing IT infrastructure to customer data and identity.

Some of the features that are specific to endpoint security

  •  Application Allowlisting
  •  Insider Threat Protection
  • Endpoint and Email Encryption
  • Data classification
  • Endpoint detection and response
  • Data loss prevention
  • Network access control

Five Best Methods To Ensure Complete Endpoint Security

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Data Encryption 

Ensure that the business and customer data are entirely encrypted. Data loss can lead to data breaches, customer identity theft and hence a downfall in the business revenue.

Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign 

Create an awareness campaign on cyber-security in your organisation. Employees are the most vulnerable source of an attack. Educate the employees on their vital role in complying with the organisation standards.

Invest In The Best Cybersecurity Technology

Do detailed research on which cybersecurity system matches your company requirements and read through the user reviews – this would help you a long way in investing in the right and successful cybersecurity technology. Enterprise data is at risk when the enterprise network is expanding – hence an integrated endpoint technology delivers promising security for the enterprise network.

Consider The Needs Of Multiple Users.

There are multiple requirements for multiple users. Consider the demands of each user. Two different users at two other places may require another software. All these are to be considered.

Mobile Device Management For Multiple Mobile Devices 

MDM or Mobile Device Management are required to ensure management of third-party apps, penetration testing, and practical validation of devices, to equip the mobile devices from malicious threats.

How Endpoint Security Works

To select the best endpoint security protection for business, it’s essential to understand how endpoint security interacts with the other elements of security and how to differentiate it as well. Let’s first run through the fundamental process of implementing endpoint security, which every organisation needs to consider, regardless of industry.

  • The first step a company must take is information gathering. You won’t be able to defend your network from attack unless you have a complete understanding of all the access points that connect to it. This activity should also cover Identity and Access Management (IAM), so you know who needs access to what resources.
  • After surveying and cataloguing the various endpoints on your network, you’ll need to choose a security solution for every layer of technology. This includes hardware protection, software protection, cloud protection, and network protection. Keep in mind that certain vendors may offer a suite of services to cover your entire range of needs.
  • At this point, you are ready to implement the selected solutions and switch to monitoring mode. You’ll need to test and measure closely how each solution performs and determine whether any significant network vulnerabilities still exist. If they do, you start the entire process over again.

Now we’ll dig into the specific elements of an endpoint security policy by examining how different tools interact. We’ll cover networks, antivirus programs, firewalls, and cloud environments.

Difference Between Antivirus Software And Endpoint Security

When comparing antivirus software to a complete endpoint security solution, the differences all come down to scope. An antivirus tool is designed to run on a single computer or device and scan its contents to look for known malware or other dangerous files such as the ones linked to recent cryptojacking attacks. Most antivirus programs get updated frequently and will automatically quarantine suspicious data.

On the other hand, an endpoint security solution looks at the entire organisation’s network, not just a single device. It runs scans at the edge of the network’s perimeter to identify, flag, and block potential malware. Every new gadget that comes into the grid is automatically included in the endpoint protection.

Critical Components Of Endpoint Security

When comparing an endpoint solution, you need to look closely at precisely what you will be receiving for your investment. Some vendors claim to offer a complete suite but maybe lacking specific components that other options include. Here are the main elements to look for:

Device Protection 

How does mobile endpoint security work? Your solution should include antivirus and malware protection for both computers and mobile devices like phones and tablets, protecting against attacks like ransomware.

Network Controls 

The endpoint security system should function like a comprehensive firewall that filters all incoming traffic and identifies potential risks.

Application Controls

This involves integration with application servers to monitor and limit the kind of endpoint access they have.

Data Controls 

This includes tools that help to prevent data leaks and improve data security with encryption of sensitive information.

Browser Protections 

Endpoint security systems often include a web filter option so that you can choose what types of sites your users are allowed to access while connected to the network.

Types Of Endpoint Security

One of the big decisions that a company must make is investing in an on-premises or cloud-based endpoint security solution. Cloud options are more flexible and easier to adapt to your existing architecture. However, particular government or industry regulations may dictate that your security tools must reside on-premises at all times.

At the enterprise level, you will want to consider a holistic package like the Endpoint Detection and Response suite from Varonis. This goes beyond simple issue monitoring and alerting. A complete response solution includes advanced analysis and forensics on all security incidents.

When considering different endpoint security solutions, make sure to research the different types of products that are available.

  • Endpoint Encryption – This functions as a virtual private network client (VPN) and is responsible for encrypting all web traffic that leaves your systems. The risk of data leaks and breaches can be minimised if you keep all outgoing transmissions encrypted.
  • Forensic Analysis – Tools that specialise in forensics allow you to dig deeper into known issues and diagnose where problems are starting within your network.
  • IoT Protection – If your organisation relies on smart, internet-connected devices like sensors or instruments, known collectively as the Internet of Things (IoT), you will want to add an extra layer of cybersecurity around them.
  • Email Gateways – A large number of cyber-incidents begin through phishing scams and other email-based attacks. By adding email gateway security to your endpoint strategy, you can block suspicious messages from ever reaching your users.
  • Quarantine Protection – Some endpoint security solutions will help you create a quarantine area where you can put systems or databases when you believe they carry a high level of risk.

Many Challenges To Effective Protection

Cybersecurity programs become increasingly complex as more endpoint devices are introduced into business networks. While the mobility and ease of communication make it easier to be efficient, they can also prove challenging for protection.

For adequate endpoint security, business leaders must create a policy covering a network that doesn't have geographic limits. It may not be fiscally realistic to have a centrally managed server in-house to validate employees and vendors seeking to access data within your network. Employees working on remote systems may not update their software or be careful with suspicious emails and downloads.

How To Optimise Security

Not surprisingly, there's been a growing list of best practices regarding endpoint security management systems. Requiring all devices to utilise an approved operating system and a VPN or virtual private network is an essential first step. If a device hasn't complied with the policy, there are ways to limit access to critical data. You can now maintain security programs remotely or even automate this to simplify the process. 

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