Welcome to 2019! You should start fortifying your endpoint security posture against upcoming threats. Immediately.
We apologize if the tonal shift above seems jarring. However, if you plan on operating in the digital marketplace, you need to have the strongest endpoint protection posture possible. Hackers continue to innovate their threats and attack tactics. They collaborate and communicate in the Dark Web, developing their malware and elusive threats in a supportive environment.
Unless you strengthen your digital perimeter and threat detection now, you’ll find your enterprise off-balance during a breach. Obviously, being off-balance in a breach means more financial and reputational damage in the aftermath.
How can you fortify your endpoint protection posture to prevent this? Here are some key suggestions:
Know Your Enemy
Before you begin solidifying your endpoint protection posture, you must take the time to understand the current and upcoming digital threats. Only by knowing your enemies can you adequately plan for, and defend against them.
Who are these enemies? Here are some of the most likely (but by no means the only) culprits:
Ransomware and Cryptojacking
Cybersecurity experts debate whether ransomware or cryptojacking should concern enterprises more. Both grew over the past year, although cryptojacking grew faster and supplanted ransomware as the top threat. However, both threats prove equally effective at disrupting your business processes and damaging your bottom line.
They differ in how they do this: ransomware holds your files or network hostage until the attacker receives payment. Cryptojacking quietly uses your processing power to generate revenue for their hackers. But ultimately, your endpoint security posture should prepare for both.
Traditionally, malware downloads a file which endpoint security solutions can detect and remove. But tradition does not dictate the future, and hackers have a new tool in their arsenal: fileless malware. This attack uses your endpoints’ natural processes to run and conceal their malicious functions, eluding traditional detection.
Your endpoint protection posture must include a next-generation endpoint security solution to combat this new threat. Hackers are employing it more and more for a reason. Remove that reason as soon as possible.
Email Threats and Phishing Attacks
You can argue email security issues and phishing belong more to SIEM and threat detection. However, the emails your employees receive constitute a potential barrage on your digital perimeter. Your employees form a large part of your digital perimeter—often the most vulnerable part of it.
With hackers becoming more selective about their phishing targets and employing more social engineering.
The popular imagining of attacks like ransomware pictures them as being fired in all directions, hoping they connect with a target who falls for it. For years, this understanding lined up with reality. But those days are changing. Hackers are now choosing their attacks far more deliberately and carefully crafting their attacks via social engineering. Your endpoint protection posture must incorporate email security to eliminate as many of these threats before they reach your employees.
Hackers only have to succeed once. Limit the chances they have to succeed.
If you only take one message away from this article, please let it be this: you are responsible for your enterprise’s cybersecurity on the cloud. This includes public cloud services like Amazon Web Services or Google.
Many enterprises assume the cloud providers will protect their digital assets. Unless the issue is with the platform itself, this is almost never true. Your endpoint protection posture must make sure to secure your cloud assets and cloud data flows. Further, it must ensure proper configurations for your cloud—the alternative rarely benefits the enterprise in the long term.
Fortifying Your Endpoint Protection Posture
Knowing the digital threats facing your enterprise might be the most important step in solidifying your endpoint protection posture. You should absolutely have this information in mind when selecting a next-gen endpoint security solution. However, knowledge is only one part of the equation. Myriad others exist, including but not limited to:
Having a Multi-Layered Security Platform
The more layers to your endpoint protection platform, the less likely threats with be able to penetrate. These layers can include anti-malware but also EDR, sandboxing, honeypots, and other capabilities.
In fact, the more layers to your endpoint security, the less likely hackers target your enterprise in the first place. Hackers are notorious followers of the path of least resistance. They tend to skip enterprises with stronger security platforms in favor of those with more noticeable weaknesses.
Therefore, your endpoint protection posture should favor solutions with a diversity of features and capabilities suited to your business processes. However, a multi-layered security platform also means supporting your endpoint security with next-gen and optimized SIEM and identity management.
Nothing in cybersecurity works well in a vacuum.
Never Stop Patching
Stay up to date with your endpoint protection platform provider to make sure your endpoint security is up-to-date. Patches contain necessary threat intelligence and predictive technology which can help prevent evolved threats or new strains.
In addition, it is critical to never push patches down the priority list; they should be a top-level, immediate concern. It can take time and resources, but these short-term concerns will prove far less costly compared to a data breach.
Taking Responsibility for Your BYOD Policies
Just because a device belongs to an employee doesn’t mean it isn’t part of your digital perimeter. Every device connecting to your network should have the same level of endpoint security as part of your endpoint protection posture. Make it a requirement of your BYOD policy, and forbid employees from using unprotected devices on your network.
Understanding What Your Perimeter Actually Protects
This ties into having strong network visibility and a clear understanding of your database locations and purposes. Without this knowledge, you won’t know what needs the most protection and what to prioritize. Your entire network should be protected, but trying to prioritize everything equally shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what your enemies target. Find where all of your databases are (including on the cloud) and decide which ones need the most attention.