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What is endpoint security?

What are endpoints and why is it crucial to protect them to keep your business secure?

Endpoint security is a broad term that can refer to a number of security measures but it generally falls under the umbrella of network security. Endpoint security, also known as endpoint protection, is an approach to protecting a business network while it’s being accessed by remote, wireless, or mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. With close to 100 million cyber breaches in 2018 alone, cybersecurity is too important to ignore.

What are endpoint devices?
Any device that can connect to the central business network is considered an endpoint. Endpoint devices are potential entry points for cybersecurity threats and need strong protection because they are often the weakest link in network security.
What is endpoint security software?
Programs that make sure your devices are protected. Endpoint protection software may be cloud-based and work as SaaS (Software as a Service). Endpoint security software can also be installed on each device separately as a standalone application.
What is endpoint detection and response?
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions analyze files and programs, and report on any threats found. EDR solutions monitor continuously for advanced threats, helping to identify attacks at an early stage and respond rapidly to a range of threats.

Is my endpoint security sufficient?

Take a look at the list below of potential vulnerabilities and ask yourself if you are doing enough to keep your business endpoints secure from threats:

Are all the devices in your business running Windows XP or newer versions and are the servers the 2003 version or newer? Older versions may not have received patches or updates to protect against more recent security defects meaning your devices will be at greater risk from malware.

Are all of your applications up to date, and can you update programs and software on all the devices connected to your network? Older versions of software can have security holes, vulnerabilities, and bugs that can be exploited by hackers. These are often fixed with patches which is why you should always update all your business software.

Do you have control over all the devices that access your network? You should be able to access and update all their hardware regularly.

Do you have predefined universal security policies that include breach processes, minimal passwords, and centrally managed security checks? Manual and ad-hoc controls and rules are not enough to guarantee maximum security for your business.

Are you up to date with the latest developments in cybersecurity? You don’t have to be an expert but cybersecurity is continually evolving, meaning that there are always new developments to learn about, whether it’s gaining a better understanding of cybercrime or keeping up to speed on improved security measures.

What can be classified as an endpoint device?

Computers and laptops
Any desktop computer or laptop that is connected to your business network could be used to spread malware. Be sure to consider both in-house computers and those used by employees under a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, as well as any external PCs connecting to the office network via VPN.
Mobile phones
Mobile phones require special attention. It is risky to connect personal devices to the office network before they have been set up with a mobile antivirus that has the latest software updates. Staff using their personal devices should also receive training as part of any BYOD policy.
Office appliances
It’s not just mobile devices and computers that are at risk. Printers, faxes, smart devices, or any other appliances that connect to your network could be potentially vulnerable and will need to be protected.
Servers are one of the more traditional types of endpoint. It’s especially important to protect them because they store or process your business data, emails, and business documents. This sensitive information needs a specialized layer of security.

Have questions about endpoint security?

As the name suggests, endpoint security is all about securing processes, business data, and sensitive information stored or passed through the devices connected to your network. Only after you have secured the endpoints, which are the most vulnerable part of your business, should you work on protecting your network as a whole so that cybercriminals and malware can’t get in.

Antivirus is an umbrella term. It is a program composed of multiple features that each protect a different part of your endpoint device (email, browser, files, etc.). However, not all antivirus products have everything it takes to fully protect your device so further protection may be necessary. That may mean setting up specific server protection, manually updating operating systems, and other additional tasks.

The basis of endpoint security is the same for consumers and businesses. However, the type and structure of protected data is different. Businesses store not only their own data, but also sensitive information about their clients, employees, and the business itself.

A set of rules defining the level of security that each device connected to the business network must comply with. These rules may include using an approved operating system (OS), installing a virtual private network (VPN), or running up-to-date antivirus software. If the device connecting to the network does not have the desired level of protection, it may have to connect via a guest network and have limited network access.