Everything You Need To Know About Endpoint Protection And Why It’s Important To Your Business
If you are a small business owner trying to manage all your own online and network security, it can seem that there is a different issue to consider every week. One of the latest concerns is mobile device protection and how hackers and malware may be finding their way into your data and your network through these devices.
To get started, a basic definition of endpoint security will be helpful. Think of it as data protection security for the end-users of the system. This includes helping to eliminate human error that can leave systems vulnerable, but also in having a way to provide enterprise network security from a central system. This would include all aspects of the network or system including workstations in an office or company, servers and the mobile devices used both internally as well as outside of the LAN (Local Area Network) or through public Wi-Fi hotspots or other wireless connections such as home wireless networks.
In general, most businesses will find that a good percentage of their employees and customers access data on their system and through their website or apps from outside of the LAN or the network. This means that security has to be provided on these devices to provide encryption security, firewall security and control over the device to be able to wipe it should it be lost or stolen.
Do You Need Endpoint Protection?
The short answer to the question about needing endpoint protection is that if you, or your employees, access your network or system through any type of device outside of your own secure network you do need this system.
If you only ever login to the website or the cloud or use email from your computer that is fully secured behind your system firewall, you may not need endpoint security. As this is a very rare occurrence in any business today, having the endpoint security system in place will be critical.
There is an increased risk as your company staff expands in number or in the number of devices accessing the system that a hack can and will occur. These devices, since they may not be running any antivirus software or using VPN security (Virtual Private Network), they become the weakest link in your security. Old operating systems or new systems that are not updated may have significant known vulnerabilities that hackers can easily leverage to gain access to the network through the device itself.
In addition, if the site they are logging into doesn’t use any SSL certificates, there is no encryption of the information transmitted. This means employee passwords and logins are readily visible and available to hackers when employees are using unsecured or public Wi-Fi hotspots or access points.
How to Get Started
With enterprise network security management policies in place, you can start to implement endpoint security. You cannot do the reverse other than to use SSL certificates and make requests of employees to keep their devices updated or to download a specific antivirus or web based type of firewall software.
By centralizing control with endpoint protection solutions that match these systems to your full network security, you have a complete and comprehensive approach to the system. Using the cyber security consultants is a great way to complete a network scan, determine current vulnerabilities and then complete a network security assessment.
From this information, you can then work to create your specific policies and protocols to address the identified security risks. This will typically include requiring the use of a web application firewall on all devices, including personal devices that employees may use in their job.
Other issues to include will be anti-virus software, personal email authentication certificates, adding anti-malware protection programs and developing specific policies with regard to registering and using personal or company devices. Most businesses will require that all BYOD programs allow the IT department to be able to wipe the device should it be lost or stolen. When this is handled by a central IT command, it speeds up the process of wiping data and virtually deactivating the device, eliminating any concerns of hackers accessing the network from the device.
Another important consideration for any type of endpoint security is the ability to respond very quickly to known security issues. A zero-day exploit occurs when a system or security vulnerability becomes known and then an attack occur virtually with that same time period, often within just a few hours of the detection of the issue.
While there is no way to predict zero-day attacks since it is often hackers that determine the vulnerability and then immediately capitalize on it, it is possible to use endpoint protection systems to help decrease the risk.
The use of the web application firewalls, network access protocols such as two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication and the use of Wi-Fi protected access, also known as WPA2 for protection from any type of attack over a wireless system will be critical.
Developing an endpoint security system is critical for your business. The longer that the system is left without security, the greater the risk of a data breach and a network hack.
Written by: Comodo