Cybersecurity can be a confusing realm, especially for business owners operating beyond the tech industry. Companies have a lot to choose from as far as endpoint security methods are concerned and truth be told, making the right choice is overwhelming.
That said, endpoint security when done right, can provide tremendous benefits to businesses of every scale and sector. This article explores the top benefits of endpoint security as well as the challenges posed by endpoint point devices.
Cybersecurity Challenges Posed by Endpoint Devices
As with most cybersecurity concerns, knowing the challenges prepares you for mitigating the damage of a successful attack. Below are a few of the most common challenges posed by endpoint devices:
- Unsecured Wireless Access Point
Most people associate unsecured wireless access points to public wifi connections as is in cafes, hotels, and malls. While these connections are unsafe as far as cybersecurity is concerned, a private home network can be just as vulnerable to malicious attacks. According to a recent survey by tech company CyberArk, 77% of employees that work from home use unsecured endpoints to gain access to corporate networks.
- Data Breach
Data breaches are an expensive and serious cybersecurity problem. According to the IDC, 80% of companies have experienced at least one breach. From 80%, 43% experienced more than 10 instances of an attack.
Especially without cybersecurity and remote work training, remote employees are prone to uploading sensitive information to a public cloud. With the data easily retrieved, hackers can use the information to further cause damage to a company.
- Internet of Things
Internet of Things devices refers to appliances and equipment that are connected to the internet. This may include a smart TV, security systems, and even digital wearables. These too are vulnerable endpoints that can be avenues for malicious players.
- Malware and Phishing
Instances of malware and phishing attacks increased over the course of the COVID-19 crisis. During the peak of the lockdowns, hackers often name regulatory bodies like the World Health Organization in order to lure unsuspecting employees to open documents and download malicious hardware.
Learn more about endpoint security best practices in our past blog post.
Top Benefits of Endpoint Security
Endpoint security protocols are no longer optional for all types of businesses. Unfortunately, there are still companies that fail to realize the advantages of investing in different layers of endpoint security. Below are some of the top benefits that are worth your consideration:
- Centralized, and Unified Security Platform
Safeguarding multiple devices across different teams with a number of employees is a tall order. It isn’t cost-efficient and it can be harder to check if security measures are working properly. An endpoint security protocol provides a centralized approach to protecting all of the digital assets and hardware within a network.
- Heightened Visibility
We at Securebrain cannot emphasize the importance of visibility in cybersecurity enough. The sooner a threat is identified, the easier it is to contain the attack. Endpoint security protocols allow applications to be continuously scanned.
- Sufficient Form of Protection
Endpoint security measures provide an all-around form of protection to any network or a slew of digital assets. If done right, it can detect, and respond to any form of attack regardless of its sophistication.
Common Misconceptions About Endpoint Security
There are misconceptions that prevail when it comes to endpoint security. Most people think that it only entails firewalls and anti-virus technologies. This cannot be farther from the truth:
“The biggest misconception with endpoint security, and security in general, is that the Firewall or Antivirus will protect your whole computer system from hackers and loss of data. Users are a key concern in security flaws. Most of the emails that contain links to payloads are engineered for humans to take actions that will circumvent security implementations and that will open the network to all sorts of attacks. You must look at training users, and implementing a program of testing users and grading them on their behaviors.” quips Chris Cardillo, VP of Technology and Marketing for Cloud Grid Networks.
Likewise, there are operations that aren’t keen on incorporating endpoint security measures beyond antivirus software in the fear that it’ll boggle down their current network:
“Endpoint security/protection tools slow down or interrupt workflow, or prevent users from doing certain tasks. These effects are typically a result of bad implementation of the endpoint security/protection tools rather than the tool itself. If the tools are implemented correctly, the necessary level of security will be provided without affecting the workflow or user productivity. Of course, proper implementation requires having an administrator that is aware of what a user needs to access in order to do his or her job. This information is usually established and documented based on the security policies of the enterprise” explains Julian Weinberger, CISSP, Director of Systems Engineering, at NCP engineering.
Probably, the most damning misconception surrounding endpoint security is that small and medium businesses can forgo this security measure. There are businesses that believe hackers only target larger operations. While the statement might have been a fact before 2020, it is no longer the case in the post-pandemic world. 43% of cyberattacks target smaller operations and an instance of a successful attack can cost at least 2.2 million dollars:
“Most don’t realize the Target breach actually occurred when an employee of a small HVAC company opened a malware-laced email, allowing the HVAC company’s system to be hacked. It just so happened that this particular company was contracted with one of the Target stores and had remote access for a limited timely solely for maintenance purposes. This allowed the hackers to worm their way into gathering more than 40 million debit and credit card numbers from Target’s point of sale (POS) system – they hit the jackpot.
Regardless of size, all businesses should at minimum have a secure website, use encryption, update and patch regularly, use effective passwords, implement a company-wide social media policy, have a defense-in-depth strategy, secure all devices and backup” explains Michael Hall, the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of eDiscovery and Digital Forensics at DriveSavers.