What four endpoint protection platform myths you must avoid in your business cybersecurity?
Unfortunately, there is as much misinformation as accurate data on cybersecurity, endpoint security, and antivirus. Worse, preconceived notions about cybersecurity can incorrectly guide your solution selection process. Therefore, these endpoint protection platform myths can weaken your digital perimeter.
Let’s examine the reality behind the four most persistent myths in endpoint security.
4 Endpoint Protection Platform Myths to Avoid
1. “Apple Products Don’t Get Viruses. We Don’t Need to Worry About Them.”
This endpoint protection platform myth permeates both the boardroom and the water cooler; it proves persistent, widespread, and almost a part of the casual cybersecurity discourse. Apple products possess a reputation for resisting viruses, and they suffer from fewer malware attacks overall.
However, that doesn’t mean Apple products are immune to malware. First, some threats can ignore the operating system of the victim, such as phishing websites. Second, hackers design and evolve threats that can affect iOS products—in fact, as those devices proliferate, hackers have more incentive to create viruses targeting them.
So make sure you use an endpoint security platform that can protect all of your devices, including Apple devices.
2. “Endpoint Protection Is About the Endpoint.”
This myth also finds roots in reality, and in the expectations of IT decision-makers. After all, endpoint security has “endpoint” in the name. Additionally, endpoint security does begin at the device through antivirus, application control, and data loss prevention.
To assume that endpoint protection platforms also end at the endpoint is to succumb to the myth. While some threats may target the device directly, most threats use endpoints as a gateway to other targets. For example, hackers could use a compromised device to access the network. To help combat these threats, your endpoint security must extend beyond the device and to the network through network monitoring, EDR, and data loss prevention.
3. “Antivirus Is Irrelevant.”
Antivirus capabilities rarely receive as much attention as they once did in the endpoint protection discourse. Part of this stems from endpoint protection platform myths calling it irrelevant in modern cybersecurity; indeed, antivirus might not matter as much as data loss prevention, EDR, and application control. However, part of this perception involves the reluctance of enterprises to move beyond signature-based detection.
Signature-based detection is irrelevant (or very close to it) because hackers evolve their threats to not use signatures, give off a false signature, or use fileless malware. But antivirus isn’t irrelevant. Instead, your enterprise needs it as a necessary but by no means cornerstone of your cybersecurity policy. After all, you need some layer of cybersecurity to keep malware out at the basic level from all of your devices.
4. “Some Endpoints Don’t Need Protection.”
This only somewhat relates to the discussion of Apple products above. In this case, IT decision-makers often think that devices used by regular employees don’t need the same level of cybersecurity; hackers would only target privileged users’ devices.
Granted, this myth also has some grounding. A majority of cyber attacks begin with compromised or stolen privileged credentials. However, that thinking fails to recognize that regular employees suffer from attacks as well…and their credentials can cause plenty of damage. The same applies to devices.
Yes, every endpoint needs the same level of endpoint protection in your cybersecurity platform. Hackers may not have anything in common, but one common quality is persistence. They will find the weak link in your infrastructure and use that to infiltrate your network; otherwise, they could always pay someone else, either directly or via a tool picked up on the Dark Web, to find that unprotected device. A single unprotected device can mean serious damage to your bottom line and reputation.
Malware always looks for the weakness in enterprise cybersecurity. Any employee can become a victim and any entry into the network can pose a problem. Therefore, you need an endpoint security platform that protects all of your devices. Also, this means your solution should help uncover devices which may operate without as much visibility, including IoT devices.
Incidentally, this includes mobile devices or other devices incorporated into the network via bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) policies. Mobile security offers the same opportunities to hackers, so they should receive the same level of attention in terms of cybersecurity.
You can learn more about Endpoint Security and dispelling endpoint protection myths in our Buyer’s Guide.
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