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The Growing Importance of Endpoint Security

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What to make of this world driven by technology- is it a benefit or a problem for society? The truth is – both.

While technology is the backbone of greater innovation, growth, and efficiency; it also opens the road to potential security breaches and other types of cyber-attacks.

On one side of the technology coin, there are highly talented developers working with sophisticated technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. On the other side of the coin, there are equally talented malicious actors developing technologies to bypass security solutions to gain access to your systems. 

Not only are attacks and attack methods becoming more sophisticated the threat landscape is also expanding and thereby creating greater challenges for security experts. With the growth in value of data to organizations that same data is now highly valuable to malicious actors which are causing all industries to become targets and all sizes of organizations to be vulnerable. So, regardless of size or industry base, your organization will eventually be reached by the malicious actor and their sophisticated attack.

In the following paragraphs, we will provide some brief insights about Endpoint Security, its importance to organizations, and common challenges faced in protecting endpoints.

What is Endpoint Security

Endpoint Security refers to: “the practice of securing corporate networks which are accessible by endpoints or entry points of end-user devices such as desktops, laptops and mobile devices and can be exploited by malicious actors and malicious campaigns.”

Based on the number of connected endpoints in a corporate network they are, by default, the weakest technology link in the network. Ensuring sophisticated robust endpoint security is of the paramount necessity for the organization and the entire network to protect against a successful cyber-attack.

The motives behind attacks are numerous, such as demanding a ransom for financial gain, agitating political conflict, theft of intellectual property, and many more. Understanding the motives of malicious actors may be pointless, but what is not pointless is understanding that they are determined to gain access and therefore will target endpoints with sophisticated attacks and novel malware to gain access.

Challenges to Endpoint Security

As companies hire more and more employees, the number of active endpoint devices increase and thus the increase of threat to cyber-breaches. Every device that connects to the network further weakens the networks overall security standing. Not to be left out of consideration to the technical challenge of security is the increase in organizational cost to protecting a growing endpoint environment.

With the current challenges facing organizations concerning remote workers and the vulnerability of remote endpoints connected to the network, a greater emphasis on endpoint security is coming into view. These remote endpoints are connecting from outside the traditional perimeter of the corporate firewall and in some regards missing the benefit of monitoring incoming and outgoing connections.

Although, many organizations use virtual private networks (‘VPN’) to ensure network protection and while they do offer some protection, it is challenging to ensure that remote endpoints are properly configured to use the VPN tunnel.

If any of the remote devices go rogue and move out of the protection of the VPN, it reaches a quarantine perimeter with limited and unprotected internet access and will be more vulnerable to attack.

Why Endpoint Security is Important

In business, data is the most valuable asset organizations have and its protection is essential. The protection of data is tantamount to protecting the safety of an organization’s employees itself. Consider the case when data is being breached by an unauthorized party, they want access to data to manipulate and use for malicious purposes.

There are multiple examples to define the importance of endpoint security but most importantly, endpoints need to be secured because they present the weak link for networks. Successful breaches and data ex-filtration can cost organizations significant monetary setbacks as well as severe reputational damage.

“According to the IDC (International Data Corporation) findings, 70 percent of successful breaches originate from the endpoint.”

IDC data as well as other organizations show the importance of endpoint security. With most attacks originating at endpoint devices, without sophisticated endpoint security, endpoints are easy prey.

It is thoroughly unnecessary to describe what such an attack can do to an organization as you know the consequences quite well, the least of which is gaining unauthorized access to your networks.

According to a survey led by the Ponemon Institute, it was found that –

The average cost per breach resulting from an attack on endpoints is over £7 million (~ 9 million USD), more than twice the average cost of a general data breach.

To effectively reduce the cost of a breach an organization needs to deploy effective Endpoint Security Solutions. To be effective, Endpoint Security Solutions need to be sophisticated in design and thoroughly capable of detecting and blocking advanced and novel malware as well as exploits. In addition to effective protection, Endpoint Security Solutions need to provide administrators with a deep response capability.

Competent endpoint response can only be provided with an advanced Endpoint Security Solution which offers the most comprehensive EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) technology. The value and necessity of EDR is the ability to prevent the promulgation of an attack from a breached endpoint and into the network and to provide automated response actions. EDR tools isolate and mitigate the threat at the point of breach, the endpoint, and allow for endpoint isolation from the larger network.

Summary

Cyber-attacks will continue to grow in quantity and complexity. Malicious actors will advance their capabilities and thereby, advance their attack methods and tools. It is time we think beyond the normal and take in to account the full picture of endpoint protection. We need to enhance our security position by enhancing our security solutions. Endpoint Security Solutions need to have all available tools in place to detect and block malware – signature analysis, machine learning and behavioral analysis. Additionally, the solution needs to deliver exploit detection. And finally, the solution needs to deliver comprehensive EDR capabilities.

RevBits is an advanced cybersecurity solutions company that delivers sophisticated solutions to organizations throughout the world to enhance their cyber defenses.