What are the eight pieces of essential endpoint security advice you need to know? How can you improve your endpoint security for your enterprise overall? Why does endpoint security still matter?
We can actually answer that last question first. The concept of the digital perimeter proves incredibly controversial—some experts contend it no longer exists. However, no one can deny how endpoints constitute a dangerous attack vector in every enterprise network. Each endpoint forms a gateway into your network overall. Hackers love to penetrate endpoints as their way to your databases and other digital assets.
So you need some essential endpoint security advice to keep your endpoints safe from penetration and interference. Here are eight pieces of essential endpoint security advice you can start following today!
8 Pieces of Essential Endpoint Security Advice You Need to Know!
1. Increase Your Persistent Visibility
According to Absolute, an endpoint security solution provider, 42 percent of devices remain unprotected at any given time. 62 percent of data security professionals can’t determine the location of their sensitive data. Yet enterprises continue to believe their endpoint security covers all of their endpoints and have the latest applications; in other words, they don’t have the visibility to know their vulnerabilities.
Essential endpoint security advice begins with visibility. Actually, that somewhat undersells it; all cybersecurity begins with visibility into your network. Often, endpoints end up forgotten or turned into blind spots. Of course, hackers can plant dwelling threats or use them as a launching pad for other attacks.
Persistent visibility can help your IT security team identify endpoints still vulnerable to attack. With next-generation endpoint security, you can uncover blind spots in your endpoint network and illuminate them.
2. Continual Patching
Much of essential endpoint security advice focuses on patching. However, many enterprises continue to struggle with patching and upgrading their endpoints on a consistent basis. According to the Ponemon Institute, it takes an average of 102 days for enterprises to patch devices. Moreover, you need to watch out for endpoints which make patching difficult such as the IoT.
Obviously, unpatched endpoints prove incredibly susceptible to zero-day attacks. Patching closes security holes and other vulnerabilities in endpoint software and firmware. Of course, visibility helps with patching efforts as well by revealing otherwise unseen endpoints. This helps with the IoT especially, as well as mobile devices in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) cultures.
3. Ensure Better Endpoint Management
Endpoint management refers to solutions designed for the discovery, provisioning, updating, and troubleshooting of endpoint devices. Moreover, it does so from a central network location.
As an example of its capabilities, endpoint management provides your team with remote access; this enables them to access connecting endpoints remotely for evaluation, whether performance-based or security-oriented. It’s another layer of control and visibility which can help fortify endpoints against attacks
4. Choose Your Security Layers Carefully
Here we face something like contradictory pieces of essential endpoint security advice. On the one hand, you would think that each new layer of endpoint security would protect your enterprise more. On the other hand, Absolute contends each layer of security can add to your threats. This is because each layer creates complexity, and complexity can cause security tools to fail over time.
The layers of endpoint security can include specific VPN, antivirus, encryption, systems management, firewalls, and EDR. Before you implement the different endpoint security layers, you need to determine what layers you actually need to keep your databases safe. Not every layer may prove necessary for you (we shall explore this in detail later on).
5. Improve Your Incident Response
Ultimately, a next-generation endpoint security solution can only protect you so far. For optimal cybersecurity performance, you need to get your entire enterprise involved. Hence, incident response. Incident response facilitates communication and detection throughout the entire enterprise network; it designates the point person for initiating security protocols.
Also, incident response outlines how employees should communicate a security incident to your IT team and what to do during the response. It outlines when your team can signal the all-clear and who in legal, financial, and public relations should be alerted. Of course, you need to practice your incident response to check for efficiencies and potential pitfalls; additionally, practice informs your employees of their roles during security events.
So long as you do that, you can stay ahead of many attacks.
6. Deploy Machine Learning
Traditional antivirus relies heavily on signatures—virus definition files—to identify and prevent malware. However, viruses tend to evolve faster than antivirus solutions can keep up, especially if it relies on signature-detection. Hackers continue to refine their attacks to conceal themselves, penetrate more easily, and perform more devastating attacks. Antivirus may be caught still looking for signs of a threat well after the threat disappears from the network.
Fortunately, machine learning can help deal with the overwhelming volume of viruses. These artificial intelligence capabilities learn to recognize threats over time and experience, automating the threat detection process. Additionally, machine learning can help prevent unknown or zero-day malware through its learned recognition of behavioral management.
7. EDR Matters More Than You Realize
EDR matters more than antivirus software. As stated above, antivirus can’t protect against new and evolving threats like fileless malware which don’t create signatures. While a strong digital perimeter can deter a good deal of cyberattacks, it can’t protect against 100 percent of all malware attacks. Eventually, something will penetrate your network’s perimeter.
EDR functions in a similar way to SIEM—it conducts threat detection through application and data activities. Additionally, it also identifies potential security events and alerts your IT team for investigation. These functions can help find dwelling threats, reduce threat hunting and investigation times, and prevent malicious behaviors.
8. Find Your Use Case
Wrapping up this list of essential endpoint security advice, you need to understand your enterprise’s use case. Only by doing this can you recognize the solution which best fits your needs. Each enterprise has a different size, industry, IT infrastructure, and user processes. Therefore your endpoint security needs to match these needs. If you aren’t sure how your use case may differ, consult with your IT security team. They’ll have the insight into your network which you need.
To gain even more insight, you should check out our 2019 Endpoint Security Buyer’s Guide. We cover the top vendors and their key capabilities in detail!
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