The proliferation of end-user devices and cloud systems in recent years has given rise to an increased volume and sophistication of cyber threats. Cyber attackers with malicious intents have developed new ways of infiltrating the data systems of all types of businesses and organizations.
In the 21st century, data is the most valuable asset of all companies and must be protected at all times. For this reason, many organizations are adopting endpoint cybersecurity services. Endpoint protection practices secure critical systems, intellectual property, customer data, employees, and guests of businesses. The following are the best practices for endpoint security.
Best Practices for Endpoint Security
- Ensure Absolute Visibility of the Entire Network
- Regular System Updates
- Educate Employees
- Enforce Least Privilege Access
- Deploy SIEM solutions
Here is an Infographic Representation of (Endpoint Security Best Practices)
Now let’s discuss them one by one:
Ensure Absolute Visibility of the Entire Network: It is vital to establish complete visibility of the entire network, especially the traffic to and from endpoints. Businesses should not only know what is traversing through their systems but also what it is doing. Fortunately, with real-time and historical data, they’ll have a clearer picture of their devices’ behaviours.
Regular System Updates: With more devices and applications on today’s networks and an ever-growing list of threats, patch management has become even more critical. You must establish a regular period to push updates to user workstations to protect against the vulnerabilities within your systems and thwart attacks.
Educate Employees: Employees are regularly targeted by cybercriminals to perform detrimental actions and divulge critical organizational information. The only way to stop this is by teaching every employee who has access to computers and the internet, basic security practices like the regular change of password, and ensuring their computers are locked when they leave their desk. It is also crucial to teach them how to detect the signs of emails and phone phishing scams.
Enforce Least Privilege Access: The least privilege approach to cyber threats involves restricting the access of every user and endpoint to only the minimum information and resources required to carry out its designated function. If a user tries to access something against the organization’s policy, it will immediately alert appropriate authorities. However, if elevated rights are required, the user must go through Multi-Factor Authentication in the process. Ensure that every event is logged correctly and looked through promptly and periodically to enable monitoring and improvement of existing systems guiding administration rights and ensure their accuracy and applicability.
Deploy SIEM solutions: It is often challenging for companies to keep track and manage hundreds or even thousands of endpoint devices and also anticipate risks that might occur. As a result, there is a need for a centralized system. Thanks to SIEM solutions, companies can now centralize documentation for monitoring and compliance purposes and predict security events by identifying vulnerabilities, calculating risks based on the likelihood of an event, and automating security responses.
Endpoint Security Risks
Phishing Attacks: Phishing attacks aim at gaining access to a company’s records and stealing vital customer data and information that can be used for blackmail purposes or published through the media to damage their reputation. The public image of the company can also be damaged and the customer base may decline as consumers tend to avoid products or services that seem incapable of protecting their sensitive information.
Malvertising: Malvertising affects a company’s website by introducing malware and malicious software that disrupts users’ visits to the website or redirects them to other sites where other attacks await. This endpoint threat can also reduce the productivity of employees, who have to deal with intrusive advertisements or redirections as they work. If not detected and solved, malvertising can cause the company substantial financial losses.
Unpatched Vulnerabilities: One leading cause of cyber hacks is long unattended and unpatched system vulnerabilities. Through this window of neglect, hackers can access relevant company data and sell it on the dark web or carry out any other malicious activity that might cost the company its reputation and in some cases lead to its closure.
Data Loss and Theft: Between 2015 to 2019, the number of U.S companies that experienced a data breach doubled, and the numbers will likely increase in the coming years. Ransomware demands, increased regulatory fees, investigation cost, damaged reputation are some of the devastating effects data loss and theft can have on a company.
In conclusion, considering the numerous negative impacts of cyber attacks on organizations, both small and large scale businesses need to embrace endpoint security and implement the practices outlined above. Also, remember that endpoint security requires consistent improvements to fight the risks mentioned above. Threats will keep evolving using advancements in technology, and your company must be up to speed with the most recent innovations and security systems to adequately combat the latest attacks with the best patches and solutions.