Where Does Endpoint Security Overlap With Identity Management?
On the surface, these two branches of business cybersecurity couldn’t seem more different. For example, endpoint security protects end-users devices from malware and intrusion; it deals with capabilities such as firewalls, antivirus protection, application control, and sandboxing.
Meanwhile, identity management concerns itself with authentication, both initial and continuous, as well as session monitoring and governance. Therefore, identity and access management (IAM) focuses on multifactor authentication, privileged access management, password vaulting, and role management.
However, modern enterprise cybersecurity now demonstrates an overlap of endpoint security identity management. Here’s why:
- The expansion of enterprise networks means IT infrastructures now experience an exponential increase in the types and number of connecting devices. Each device needs cybersecurity as well as identification and registration.
- Additionally, traditional antivirus no longer suffices for endpoint security; each device needs its own identity with a behavioral baseline to identify potential compromises.
- Moreover, endpoint security needs strong authentication and login monitoring.
So how does endpoint security overlap with identity management? Why does it matter to your overall cybersecurity policy?
How Endpoint Security Overlaps with Identity Management
Permissions and Control
Some of the key components of endpoint security include application control and password control. These capabilities prevent applications from downloading themselves or from moving from endpoint to endpoint unmonitored. Therefore, it prevents malicious programs from posing as an app, gathering sensitive data, and sending it out of the network.
Simultaneously, identity management tools can help reinforce endpoint security’s application control. It does so through a few simple mechanisms, Namely, IAM can prevent the average user from having the permissions necessary to download programs to their work endpoints. Instead, you can restrict those privileges to your IT security team; this allows them the chance to review any new applications before giving them the green light.
Moreover, IAM can enforce the same privileged access management on the applications themselves. A business solution can set strict restrictions on the databases on endpoints the application can access. Thus, even if they have malicious intent, rogue applications find themselves with limited mobility.
Enforcing Strong Passwords (And Stronger Authentication)
Your endpoints devices, databases, communications, and resources should require authentication. Therefore, your endpoint security needs identity management to ensure strong authentication policies.
Granted, you could turn to the tried method of passwords. However, we note that the phrase “tried-and-true” would not apply here. While they remain the most popular and recognized authentication tool, your enterprise can’t rely on passwords alone.
Many passwords end up repeated, which means hackers can use one data breach to initiate another one; if even one repeated password falls into the wrong hands, the number of compromises it could cause is untold. Also, passwords often end up as fundamentally weak—plenty of users continue to insist on “123456” as a strong password.
Each endpoint could end up as a potential gateway into your wider network; your efforts to secure your network is only as strong as the weakest link in your digital perimeter. Thus, each endpoint deserves multifactor authentication (MFA) rather than simple passwords. After all, the more authentication barriers between user and access, the less likely hackers can intrude.
Identity management can enact multifactor authentication (including passwords). However, it can also help you establish identities for each of the endpoints themselves. Thus, your enterprise can monitor whether the access request from a particular device comes from an expected location and at an appropriate time. If it deviates, it can send more obtrusive authentication factors or deny access altogether.