What is endpoint security?
Endpoint security embodies a variety of cybersecurity tactics aimed at protecting a network’s endpoints. Among the tactics used for endpoint security are EDR (endpoint detection response) antivirus, web filtering, email filtering, and firewall devices.
Businesses rely on endpoint security to protect vital systems, intellectual property, customer data, employees, and visitors from ransomware, phishing, malware, and other cyberattacks.
What is an endpoint?
An endpoint is a remote computing device that communicates back and forth with a network to which it is connected. Therefore, devices like laptops, desktop computers, mobile phones, tablets, and servers can all be considered endpoints. These devices serve as gateway entries for a network, meaning that healthy and consistent security measures are crucial to keep potential threats at the margin.
Why is endpoint security important?
Endpoint security is a top priority for businesses of all sizes, simply because this is how they protect their networks against cyber threats, while employees are working remotely.
While intrusion attempts may seem unusual, they happen more often than organizations can handle. According to a recent study, small businesses get 14 malicious emails per year per employee. It may not seem like a harmful number, but it means that your employees must have the ability to recognize at least 1 malicious email a month. This is just another problem to hand to their plates that strains them from their core functions and affects productivity. And worse, it represents a serious risk for hacker intrusion.
It’s important to mention that phishing emails are just one of the many forms in which cyber threats present themselves. There are other sources of risk inside a network’s endpoints. For example, if one of your employees has an app that contains malware, the hackers behind it could gain access to your client database and their personal information.
To summarize, every device consists of a point of entry to networks for malicious actors, therefore it is in our best interest to take every possible measure to secure them.
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How to enhance endpoint security
At Wingman Solutions our mission is to keep our clients safe. The way we achieve this is explained in the following segment:
Assessing the endpoints
An IT assessment can elevate your business by serving as the foundation for a robust endpoint security strategy. Begin by cataloging and evaluating the devices your employees use to access your network, ensuring that only authorized devices gain access to your company’s internal systems.
Once we have collected this information, we can manage network access to only those devices that have been allowed and prioritize the most dangerous and sensitive endpoints.
Implementing data encryption
The implementation of data encryption is an essential part of any endpoint security strategy, as it reduces exposure to cyber-attacks.
The way encryption works is by altering the data so that it is unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the key that switches it back to normal, making it one of the best ways to keep information safe.
There are many reasons why every business, even small ones, should implement data encryption to secure their data. On the legal side of things, data encryption is needed to meet data security standards, like the PIPEDA which is the data protection and privacy legislation adopted by most Canadian provinces.
But maybe one of the most important reasons why every business should care about securing their data is because in their hands they have critical personal information from their clients, suppliers, shareholders, and many people involved. If a data breach should occur and all this personal data went public, there would be a lot of people affected and this could even affect business relationships in the long run.
Enforce bring your own device (BYOD) policies
A Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy sets up the level of support that a company’s IT department can give for employees’ personal computers, cell phones, and tablets. A BYOD policy, for example, could include a list of approved apps and devices, as well as the data and websites they can access. Companies with sensitive data should equip employees with their own laptops or smartphones, which should include restricted and allowed apps as well as message encryption.
Advanced and automated endpoint protection
EDR (endpoint detection response), antivirus and firewall software have been around for many years as basic endpoint protection solutions. Antiviruses are good at detecting known threats using a blacklist, but they have trouble detecting advanced malware. Firewalls, on the other hand, can’t defend against sophisticated types of malware.
Don’t get me wrong, antiviruses and firewalls sure are helpful, but they cannot stop or prevent a cyber-attack on their own. More complex and advanced solutions, such as conditional access, geo-location access, and even only specific IP addresses.
Everyone inside an organization should understand at least the basic cybersecurity best practices. Businesses must invest in security training for their staff, such as how to create secure passwords and how to spot phishing emails. Furthermore, this type of training should be updated regularly because threats are always evolving and changing.
How we can help
Most small businesses feel helpless because they don’t have enough resources to keep up with the speed of technology and the constant security threats that arise every day. Don’t stress! An IT partner that can manage your IT efforts and keep your data safe will save you sleepless nights. Then all you must do is focus on what’s important, growing your business.
If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to get in touch.