In your computing environment endpoints are the most vulnerable component of your network. However, still most organizations don’t focus on their endpoints. This can lead to security breaches. According to a report from Absolute Software, 76% of businesses are increasing their usage of endpoint devices. It is important to shift your security strategy according to the threat landscape. Endpoints are becoming more complex with time. This is mostly due to the introduction of BYOD policy and IoT devices.
Attackers are using a new approach for attacking organizations. They will start their attack with small and soft targets. This will ensure that they can maintain a low profile during the attack. Endpoints are these soft targets for attackers. These devices are the most vulnerable part of your network as they are the only entry point in your network.
Companies are still not focusing on their endpoint protection. Most businesses don’t have enough resources to protect their endpoint devices. However, there are very new technologies that can help you in solving this problem. In this article, we are going to share some tips which will help you in securing your endpoints.
How Endpoint Security can help you in protecting your organization?
Attackers will generally use social engineering attacks for attacking organizations. They will use phishing for tricking users into installing and downloading malicious scripts. Their main intention is to steal data and interrupt operations. System admins can review active processes for finding malware in your system.
Precise real-time action
Endpoint protection will ensure that your system admins can quickly determine what steps they need to take for protecting your network. They can easily find the endpoints that are affected. Endpoint management systems will provide audit reports to your admins. Your admins can find the best route to protect your network from attackers. This will ensure that attackers can take precise real-time action.
Prevent financial and data loss
Networks are becoming more complex due to the introduction of new endpoints. A large network is very hard to protect. Endpoint security will help you in preventing any data loss. It will help you in maintaining the integrity of your network. If you are using the internet, then you are open to threats. Thus, you should focus on protecting your networks.
Prevent insider threats
You should focus on protecting your network from vendors and employees also. Sometimes your own employees can leak your data. It is difficult to maintain the integrity of your network if you are working with multiple vendors. Working with multiple vendors and contractors is important for some companies. However, it also opens new security challenges for organizations. Endpoint security is one of the best ways to protect your network from insider threats.
Insider threats are difficult to deal with. Sometimes by mistake, your employees can cause a data breach. If your employees are using the same password on all the platforms, then they are also an insider threat to your organization. This can lead to a data breach. It is important to ensure that you are monitoring these issues. However, it is very difficult to manually monitor these issues. Endpoint security solutions will help you in protecting your network from attackers. It will help you in stopping any threats that can occur due to simple mistakes. You should also educate your employees about the risks. This will help you in preventing insider threats.
How to protect your endpoint?
Understand the fundamentals well
We are going to talk about the best security methods in this article. However, you should ensure that you are using the best general security best practices. This simply means that you should follow the tried-and-true principle of forcing your users to use strong passwords and patching vulnerabilities.
These common things are generally part of every IT security strategy. You can’t protect your organization until you are following general IT security practices. Make sure that you are upgrading and patching your software. You should enforce security configuration policies. This will help you in protecting your IT assets from attackers. You should also enforce a strict password policy for protecting your user accounts.
Know your endpoints
You can’t protect your endpoint devices until you know about them. Thus, you should first find all the endpoints of your network. Make sure that only approved devices can be connected to your network. Also, you should assess the patching and vulnerability status of these devices.
It is a good idea to prioritize your endpoints according to risk. This will help you in focusing first on the endpoints that are vulnerable. If you are storing some sensitive information in endpoints, then you need to protect them first. Devices that are connected to the internet also demand protection. These devices can be easily hacked.
Use Automated endpoint protection
Traditional anti-virus solutions can help you in blocking some viruses. However, you can’t protect your entire network by using traditional anti-virus software only. You should go for better security tools. Thus, it is important to move towards signature-based point products. Make sure that you are using integrated endpoint security solution for protecting your network.
These endpoint security solutions will help you in covering the entire threat spectrum. It will offer capabilities like application whitelisting, real-time malware protection, and Windows log collection. Thus, you should consider using automated and advanced endpoint protection.
Proactively block unknown and known threats
It is difficult to stop an attack once it has already occurred. Thus, you should focus on preventing security breaches first. You should focus on protecting your endpoints from unknown, known, and zero-day attacks. These attacks are generally delivered through exploits and malware. You can achieve this by using local and cloud-based threat analysis. This will help you in detecting and preventing evasive and unknown threats.
Protect all applications
Applications are the core of every business. You can’t operate effectively if your applications are not working. Security bugs or flaws in applications can lead to a security breach. Traditional antivirus solutions won’t help you in protecting your applications from these security bugs. You should ensure that your IT security infrastructure can help you in protecting your applications and third-party applications.
Protect your legacy systems
Organizations sometimes forget about their legacy systems. These legacy systems are difficult to protect as you can’t use advanced security solutions with them. Organizations also don’t deploy available security patches and system updates as they can affect their legacy systems. It is difficult to maintain your legacy devices.
A good endpoint security solution should support unpatchable systems. They should prevent the exploitation of known software vulnerabilities even if you are using legacy systems. However, this is not the best thing to do. You should consider slowly moving from legacy systems to modern systems. If you are relying too much on legacy systems, then it can lead to a surprise data breach. Thus, make sure that you are also focusing on upgrading these systems.
Printers and IoT devices generally have default passwords and settings. Thus, attackers can easily attack these printers and IoT devices. The main problem with IoT devices is that they are connected to the internet. Attackers can send malware or ransomware to these devices. If you are using the default password, then attackers don’t need to do anything. They can easily crack your IoT device security.
You should first change the default password of your IoT devices. Make sure that you are installing software updates on these IoT Devices. Also, maintain the firmware and hardware of all your computers and systems. If you are a windows user, then you can use ADR or Automatic deployment rules for patching and updating their computers.
You should encrypt restricted and critical data stored in the cloud or on-premise. Companies can encrypt their entire hard drives if they want. They can also encrypt some specific files. This will depend on the data that you are storing. Also, you should ensure that your data is secure in transit. To achieve this you should update all your web communications to secure HTTPS protocols. You can use Pretty Good Privacy for encrypting your emails.
If your employees are working remotely, then make sure that they are using Virtual Private Networks. This will help you in protecting your users from unsecured networks. Thus, VPNs are very important for organizations.
Data access policy
Most SMBs don’t have a data access policy. They don’t have the basic protocols for data usage, access, and storage. If you want to protect your organization from attackers, then you should create a data access policy. You can divide your data into public, critical, or restricted categories. This will help you in properly focusing on the critical data. You should also define who will have access to your data. For example, only your financial department should have access to your financial data. Your IT department doesn’t need access to your legal or financial data. You can use user authentication procedures for implementing this. Two-factor authentication is one of the best authentication procedures for protecting your organization.
Enforce BYOD Policy
A BYOD policy is important for modern organizations. If you are allowing your employees to work from their personal devices, then you should enforce your BYOD policy also. It should be the list of all the allowed devices and apps in your network. Also, it should clearly mention the data that your employees can access. Make sure that your employees can’t access sensitive data from their personal devices. You should provide your own devices to employees for accessing authorized and restricted apps. Make sure that you are using the latest security tools for protecting these devices.
Train your employees
If your employees click on a phishing email, then all your endpoint security solutions will be useless. Thus, you should ensure that you are training your employees. According to a report from Ponemon institution, more than 81% of security breaches occur due to careless employees. If your employees are not following your security policies, then your entire organization is at risk.
You should implement a security awareness program for training your employees. Make sure that your employees are learning about how they can recognize phishing and risky emails. They should never click on untrusted attachments and links. You should create a culture of security in your organization. This will ensure that your employees are also working on protecting your organization.
Your employees should know about the best IT security practices. If you are working with an experienced MSP, then they can help you with this. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can train your employees. They will ensure that your employees know about the basic security practices. This will help you in taking your IT security level to another level.
Small businesses can use antivirus or firewall solutions for protecting their business. However, this is not possible for midsize and large businesses. You can follow the above-mentioned tips for enhancing endpoint security. Endpoints are the most important part of your IT network as attackers can use them as entry points. If your endpoints are not secure, then attackers will get access to your network. They will use endpoints to spread their malware or virus. Thus, you can’t neglect your endpoint devices. Endpoint security will help you in decreasing the threat of viruses or ransomware. It will also help you in preventing threat actors. If you are working on endpoint security, then your business will be very secure in the long term.
The best way to improve your IT security strategy is by working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can help you in implementing the best endpoint security solutions. They will help you in maintaining your overall IT security strategy. Bleuwire will also help you in training your employees. This will ensure that your employees are protected from attackers. Thus, SMBs should consider working with a good MSP as it is the easiest way to improve their security. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.