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How to Secure Your Network for Every Endpoint

Endpoint security has become more complex than ever before, creating new challenges for today’s businesses.

If you were asked to identify every endpoint on your network, how long would it take you? And would you be able to confidently say that each and every endpoint was properly secured?

If your business is anything like countless others across the nation, your total number of endpoints has increased significantly in the past year. A massive rise in remote work and BYOD (bring your own device) practices, among other factors, have fueled a new level of interest in making access to data more fluid.

But with every additional endpoint comes another vulnerability, and centralized network protection is falling severely short of changing network security needs. According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), approximately 70% of security breaches are carried out by external actors. This means that for businesses of all types and sizes, endpoint security should be a top priority in an effective cybersecurity plan.

If your business has yet to update your endpoint management and security strategies to reflect the current working environment and expanded security perimeters, the time to act is now.

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Why Endpoint Protection is More Important than Ever

You don’t need statistics to tell you that cybercriminals are constantly getting smarter and more strategic – and at the same time, new technology is offering them a multitude of ways to inflict damage. We’ve seen them hacking into video conferencing platforms, manufacturing convincing materials to trick users, and adapting rapidly in an attempt to stay one step ahead.

Having a diverse range of options for user devices, including desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets, and laptops, is undeniably useful for businesses. Unfortunately, more devices equal more endpoints, which in turn provides more entry points for cyberthreats.

IoT (Internet of Things) and smart devices with network-connecter sensors are also growing in popularity, making it possible for the number of network endpoints to quickly climb into the thousands and higher. These devices have been adopted for mainstream use before many businesses have even begun to consider their impact on network security. Even one unsecured IoT device could place your entire network at risk – and you might not even know the device exists.

Now, prevention and awareness must be strategically combined with multiple endpoint solutions, ideally facilitated by a single provider. Endpoint defenses need to be sophisticated, ever-evolving, and prepared to outpace cybercrime if they have any chance to halt advanced attacks.

Steps to Securing Every Endpoint on a Network

According to a piece published by leading IT industry news site Security Boulevard, endpoint security must be a multi-layered strategy that incorporates:

  • Loss prevention
  • Data classification
  • Insider threat monitoring
  • Network/privileged user access control
  • Email gateways
  • Anti-malware
  • Endpoint detection response (EDR)
  • Encryption
  • Application control

As you can see, learning how to secure all endpoints on a network can be a complex process. But as you work to refine your endpoint management and security strategy, there are a few useful tips you can keep in mind.

Here are some simple steps for securing all endpoints on your network:

  1. Set up a safeguard against unknown and highly evasive threats using advanced threat analysis tactics (local and cloud-based).
  2. Ensure that user productivity and performance aren’t negatively impacted by overly complex or cumbersome security requirements by selecting security solutions that are based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities.
  3. Utilize threat intelligence for preventative purposes, taking advantage of automation to collect and correlate data for the development of smarter practices.
  4. Provide protection for all applications, including proprietary and third-party apps. Attacks specifically aimed at web apps were part of almost half of all breaches in 2020, more than doubling from the previous year.
  5. Don’t forget legacy systems, particularly those that are unpatchable, when developing your endpoint security strategy.
  6. Be prepared with a scalable solution that can be rapidly deployed to support changing business needs and employee work set-ups.
  7. Look for solutions with third-party validation in order to stay compliant with industry regulations, if you fall within one of the qualifying jurisdictions.
  8. Before replacing legacy antivirus software, request information about independent performance reviews and validations to verify performance standards.
  9. Don’t neglect employee education and preparation, especially because human error is one of the most common factors in a successful cyberattack.

On-site vs. remote vs. BYOD: Different Cybersecurity Solutions for Different Situations

There’s not necessarily one “perfect” answer to the question of endpoint security. Because of variations in how – and where – people are working, it’s incredibly important that your endpoint security approach is context-aware.

For example, if you have remote or hybrid employees that will be working both on your network and off, that’s something to take into consideration. All endpoints must be protected from known and unknown threats under all conditions, whether the device is operating on or off the network, online or offline, or on-premises or off. In this scenario, a balance of local and cloud-based security threat analysis is a valuable investment. Education and accountability are also invaluable, allowing your business to better foster a culture of smart security.

Is your business transitioning back to the office after an extended period of remote work? Moving into a BYOD model requires a thorough evaluation of endpoint security, as does a switch back to 100 percent on-premises device operation.

Ultimately, the takeaway is this: endpoint protection will always be a strategy that requires ongoing evolution. For this reason, many businesses opt to partner with a professional team, lessening the burden of updating protective measures, monitoring threats and events, and implementing proper responses.

Securing Endpoints for Businesses: A Must for Mitigating Security Threats

Today’s cybercriminals are relentless in their pursuit of unprotected endpoints, and they have the skills and resources to exploit your business’s security weaknesses for their financial gain. Being well-equipped with both the knowledge and cybersecurity technology to guard against invasions is vital.

Endpoint Protection as a Service (EPaaS) gives you the advantage of customized, continuous monitoring and rapid responses. When you choose an option that makes the most of advanced technologies like machine learning and predictive AI, you can take a proactive role in keeping your business safe from those with malicious intent. Additionally, because some of the best EPaaS options out there give you exceptional flexibility, you can set up a service that addresses your situation, budget, and other non-negotiables.

Don’t let your business become the latest victim of cybercrime: prioritize effective endpoint management and security protection sooner rather than later to adequately protect against today’s security threats.

Thank you for trusting us to help with your cybersecurity needs. Contact us any time—we’re always happy to help.

Shawn

Meet the Author
VP Enterprise Risk Management
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