10 Cornerstones of an Endpoint Protection Strategy

The increase of endpoint vulnerabilities now necessitates automatic security and the systemic hardening of endpoint protection strategies.
endpoint protection strategies
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All devices connected to your enterprise network represent a possible vulnerable entry point to your data system. All it takes is a simple app that contains malware on an employee’s smartphone that could allow hackers to gain access to sensitive data. The increase of endpoint vulnerabilities now necessitates automatic security and the systemic hardening of endpoint protection strategy.

 

1. Centralized Data Management

Managing hundreds or thousands of computers, terminals, and mobile devices on your enterprise network is hardly possible or practical. A host of errors, including substandard system integration, redundant alerts, or overwhelming administration duties are some of the undesirable outcomes of piecing together disjointed security solutions.

Having a single, centralized solution for monitoring the security of your network and endpoints enables your business to achieve fewer security incidents, a reduction in technology and management costs, a timelier response to unwanted or suspicious activity, and easier deployment of complementary features or products.

 

2. Data Protection

It is hard to develop an effective data security program without consideration for endpoint data protection. By limiting access to and securing your endpoints, you are removing possible vulnerabilities and exposure points for your enterprise data.

Apart from the endpoint security tools mentioned, your enterprise must address data encryption needs, data loss prevention, network segregation, and the monitoring of file integrity.

Your centralized tool for administering and monitoring endpoint security should ideally generate insight into the security of your data assets and critical system files.

 

3. Full Device OS Coverage

Research conducted by Cass Information Systems revealed that 85% of organizations are implementing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in their office in some capacity. Other companies opting for a more conservative approach to mobile device management for employees may have a choose-your-own device (COYD) policy.

The result of this is that many enterprise networks may contain multiple operating systems apart from just Windows or Linux. A single organization may have users that utilize Windows, several iterations of iOS and Android, thereby necessitating an endpoint protection strategy that must include tools for monitoring every type of OS existing on your network. This leaves manually securing every flaw in each OS as the only alternative, which is resource-prohibitive.

 

4. Incidence Response Process

A 2018 Verizon Data Breach Report conducted by Verizon found that 82% of modern cybercriminals complete data retrieval within minutes, while 75% of organizations fail to respond to the incident for weeks or longer. Visibility alone is not enough to reduce endpoint vulnerabilities.

Across the industry, there is a move towards stronger incident response processes. Security Week noted the Enterprise Security Research that states 29% of organizations hope to improve response mechanisms. But 38% of security teams feel that too much time and human capital resources are used reactively responding to data threats and putting out fires, rather than improving actual incident response. A total of 29% are frustrated by the manual effort needed to respond.

The obvious solution is to develop a robust endpoint protection strategy that utilizes a centralized, automated tool to enable timely response. Advanced threat intelligence is also needed to distinguish between negative and normal activity on complex networks.

 

5. Incident Remediation

Reaching Stage 5 security maturity according to the Forrrester model requires that your enterprise activity is fully-automated, consistent, and wholly effective.

Robust endpoint and data asset protection require the ability to remediate incidents at the time of the detection. An integrated security management tool will help your enterprise gain the ability to have visibility into threats and reverse changes in real-time on your endpoint devices.

 

6. Mobile Threat Management

IT professionals need to keep pace with the proliferation of mobile threats with security methods that are easy and simple to maintain. Several technical safeguards can be implemented to ensure your enterprise has maximized its protection strategy.

Your business’ endpoint security protection management may include the use of mobile VPNs, multi-factor authentication (MFA), third-party content control and monitoring, mobile device management platforms, agent-based mobile monitoring, and the on-device segregation of business apps and data.

Technical standards can be highly subjective to your organization. At the very least, businesses need to ensure secure data connections and continuously monitor all mobile devices.

 

7. Multiple Forms of Security Protection

It takes more than just a firewall or antivirus program to protect your enterprise data sufficiently. At the very least, your endpoint protection strategy should include the deployment of device firewalls, internet security and filtering, mobile device security and management solutions, intrusion detection tools, application controls, and encryption.  

Enterprises need to seek security professionals that can offer multi-device protection on their network, as well as agent-based solutions that can provide continuous security monitoring.

 

8. Ongoing Detection

An active endpoint protection strategy must include ongoing detection mechanisms. These are usually enabled by communication between monitoring agents on each device, and a central management portal.

Anton Chuvakin of Gartner initially coined the term “endpoint threat detection and response” in 2013, specified three use cases for endpoint visibility which are data search and investigations, suspicious activity detection, and data exploration.

It is crucial for your organization to possess the ability to detect changes in seconds before they affect your company’s network. Detecting cudden abnormalities in end-user behavior, malicious file content, or other risks, your enterprise security team can enable an appropriate response.

 

9. Security Maturity KPIs

It is important to understand that security is an iterative process. Organizations need to continually monitor, assess, respond, and remediate to avoid threat incidents. Understanding the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of your baseline and goals help your organization make progress towards improved threat management for your endpoints.

 

10. User Security Awareness

The massive security vulnerability that endpoints pose can hardly be overestimated. A simple click on a link that turns out to be a malicious one, a file uploaded to a shared folder on the cloud, or unauthorized use of your device by a third party can expose your enterprise in seconds. Data leakage, accidental vulnerability exploits, and lost devices are among the sources of user-generated endpoint security risks.

Instilling awareness and positive security behaviors amongst staff requires ongoing hands-on training programs that encourage them to accept security updates, avoid non-secure wireless networks, and prevent dangerous app content. Such training programs should also include security updates to acceptable use policies that will clarify behavioral expectations for mobile users.

 

Conclusion

Implementing a strong endpoint security protection strategy requires a comprehensive and all-encompassing approach. The security threats that organizations face an increase in sophistication and frequency all the time, and using simple antivirus software or firewall or basic network segregation protocols won’t cut it. The key to digital asset protection is a holistic and integrated management solution which enables total data visibility, response, and remediation.

Focus time, money, and effort on what really matters

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