Cybersecurity - Endpoint

What’s considered an endpoint?

An Endpoint is any device that connects to the corporate network from outside its firewall. Examples of endpoint devices include:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • mobile devices
  • Point-of-sale (POS) systems
  • Switches
  • Digital printers
  • Other devices that communicate with the central network

Why Endpoint security is important

An endpoint security strategy is essential because every remote endpoint can be the entry point for an attack, and the number of endpoints is only increasing with the rapid pandemic-related shift to remote work. Now that citizens work remotely more than ever before, it is crucial to have protection for all your devices.

How Endpoint Protection works

It works by examining files, processing, and system activity for suspicious or malicious indicators.

Difference between Endpoint Protection and Antivirus

Endpoint security software protects endpoints from being breached – no matter if they are physical or virtual, on- or off-premise, in data centers, or in the Cloud. It is installed on laptops, desktops, servers, virtual machines, as well as remote endpoints themselves.

Antivirus is often part of an endpoint security solution and is generally regarded as one of the more basic forms of endpoint protection. Instead of using advanced techniques and practices, such as threat hunting and endpoint detection and response (EDR), antivirus simply finds and removes known viruses and other types of malware. Traditional antivirus runs in the background, periodically scanning a device’s content for patterns that match a database of virus signatures. Antivirus is installed on individual devices inside and outside the firewall.

4 core functions of Endpoint Protection

1. Prevention: NGAV (Next Generation Antivirus)

In short, it is a more advanced antivirus software that uses AI, and machine learning technology to detect new malware by examining more in-depth elements, such as files hashes, URLs, and IP addressed

2. Detection: EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response)

EDR tries to prevent “silent failures,” aka hackers who can penetrate networks and bypass frontal security.

3. Managed Threat Hunting

For small or large businesses, it is wise to set up a small cybersecurity team that has experience against fighting off hackers and cyber-attacks to help look for potential threats within the business's network.

4. Threat Intelligence Integration

To stay ahead of attackers, businesses need to understand threats as they evolve. Sophisticated adversaries and advanced persistent threats (APTs) can move quickly and stealthily, and security teams need up-to-date and accurate intelligence to ensure defenses are automatically and precisely tuned.

A threat intelligence integration solution should incorporate automation to investigate all incidents and gain knowledge in minutes, not hours. It should generate custom indicators of compromise (IoCs) directly from the endpoints to enable a proactive defense against future attacks. There should be a human element as well, comprised of expert security researchers, threat analysts, cultural experts, and linguists who can make sense of emerging threats in a variety of contexts.

What is Endpoint Security Management?

The more endpoint devices connect to a corporate network, the more avenues cybercriminals have to infiltrate that network. Endpoint security management is a software approach, typically centralized, that enables network administrators to identify and manage end users’ device access—even employees’ personal devices—over the corporate network.

Examples of endpoint security management include, but are not limited to:

  • Managed antivirus software
  • Web filtering 
  • Application/patch management
  • Network access control and “need to know”
  • Virtual private network (VPN) software
  • Data and email encryption
  • Ensure your devices are up-to-date with the latest software

Importance of having EPS

  1. Protecting all endpoints: As employees now connect via not only a growing number of endpoints but also different types of devices, it is vital for organizations to ensure they do so securely. They also need to ensure that the data on those devices is secure and cannot be lost or stolen. 
  2. Securing remote working: The rise in device usage is linked to new ways of getting work done, such as bring your own device (BYOD) and remote working policies. These policies enable employees to be as effective as possible wherever they are and on any device. However, they also make it more difficult to ensure users are working securely, thus creating vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. Protecting the device with an endpoint security platform is crucial.
  3. Sophisticated threat protection: Hackers are deploying more sophisticated attack methods that see them come up with new ways of gaining access to corporate networks, stealing data, and manipulating employees into giving up sensitive information. Endpoint protection is critical to securing modern enterprise and preventing cyber criminals from gaining access to their networks.
  4. Protecting identity: As employees connect to business systems via various devices and from different networks and locations, the traditional process of protecting the business perimeter is no longer viable. Endpoint security ensures that the business puts security on employees’ devices, enabling them to work safely regardless of how and where they connect to corporate data and resources.