Endpoints constitute highly vulnerable entry points for cyber attacks, and yet they are unequivocally integral to the day-to-day functionality of any business. From laptops and PCs to wearable devices (such as smart watches), Point of Sale devices, printers, and network paths, endpoints present lucrative opportunities for malicious attackers to gain access to your corporate network.
Over the last few years, a rise in endpoint attacks has led IT support services to focus on advancing the defenses we put in place to ensure that endpoints are kept secure. A business without a comprehensive endpoint defense solution in place is extremely vulnerable to breaches via unsecured devices and network pathways.
Read more about the considerations you should take when thinking about your endpoint security solutions.
1. Why is Endpoint Security so Important?
The workplace is rapidly evolving to accomodate a more efficient and fluid approach for employees. Remote access and mobile working allow us to continue working from home, or from the other side of the world, via unsecured devices and WiFi networks. Unfortunately, this changing virtual environment has prompted cyber attackers to evolve, refine and adapt their approaches to infiltrating corporate networks by focusing on endpoint devices, necessitating a more sophisticated approach from IT support services.
In the past, when hackers relied on using more traditional forms of malware in order to disrupt and gain access to sensitive data, Legacy Antivirus was an effective and reliable security measure used to protect devices from malicious files.
Now, as cybercriminals adopt more furtive measures, Legacy Antivirus is not capable of detecting and preventing devastating attacks, and they are able to use endpoints to access your network undetected.
Effective IT support services will establish intelligent endpoint security solutions that are faster and more attuned to providing continuous prevention and detection, not only in the endpoint under attack, but across all devices.
2. The Internet of Things (IoT)
Devices that connect to and communicate via the Internet of Things include cameras, printers, smart watches, vending machines, and smart sensors, and they represent highly vulnerable endpoints in your business. Their proliferation within businesses has been unhesitating, and our managed IT services must be rapidly evolved to keep up with the threat posed to anything connected to the Internet of Things.
Modern printers, for instance, are capable of storing printed documents containing sensitive data and information, and of providing access to the rest of the network for hackers to exploit.
As more devices become ‘smart’ and connect to the Internet of Things, more endpoints are established and made vulnerable to cyber attacks that, without the right IT solutions in place, are difficult to detect and remediate.
3. Remote Employees
Although it’s a great boon for efficiency and productivity, employees working on company-owned devices via a public or at-home WiFi network without a VPN are exposing their devices — and the sensitive data stored on them — to a number of potential threats.
WiFi connections offered to the public in airports, cafes, and hotels represent vulnerable entry-points for hackers. Similarly, some hackers will set-up fake Wireless Access Points (WAP), through which they can access personal data.
What’s more, smart home devices are also vulnerable to hackers looking to gain access to your home’s wireless network. This means that, whether your employees work in public spaces, or within their own home office, endpoint devices left unsecured increase the risk that your private data will be compromised by opportunistic cybercriminals.
4. Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD)
Drastic changes within the work environment mean that many employees are now bringing their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones into work with them.
The trouble is, the more mobile a device is — and the more it is taken outside of the home or office — the higher the risk that it will be lost or stolen. For this reason, one of the many concerns of endpoint security is ensuring that the sensitive data on these devices remains protected, even if that device falls into the wrong hands.
Securing all company data stored on employee devices is an essential step in creating an effective endpoint security solution.
5. What Should the Primary Concern of Endpoint Security Solutions Be?
Endpoint security is only as strong as its latest patch, which means that a good endpoint security solution will be forever evolving and increasing its understanding of threats posed by hackers.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes should be focusing on securing their digital perimeter, and ensuring that their IT support services are taking a proactive stance against the increasingly intelligent and insidious tactics used by cyber criminals.
Prioritising endpoint security, and making certain that all devices are safeguarded using endpoint detection and response (EDR), next generation antivirus, and application control.
Securing your data is vital to the success and growth of your business, and the right IT support services should broaden their scope to ensure that all devices — whether they are kept within the office at all times, or on the other side of the world — are secure.