With so many devices at our disposal these days, we are no longer tied to a single device anymore. This has given rise to the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend. Today, employees tend to bring their own devices to work. Your own devices (smartphones, tablets, laptop, etc.) along with other devices already connected to your organization’s network, pose a huge cybersecurity risk.
Every device connected to your network serves as an entry point for cybercriminals. A single infected device can give hackers access to your sensitive data. That is where endpoint security comes into play. Securing all the endpoints is critical to prevent hackers from intruding into your network and fulfilling their malicious designs.
Malicious mobile apps running on devices connected to your network are a big threat. These mobile devices become a soft target for hackers who try to get access to your sensitive data by running malicious scripts and codes. Yes, you cannot stop employees from bringing their devices to work, but you can beef up your mobile device security and endpoint security.
In this article, you will learn about seven important elements of a successful endpoint security strategy.
1. Centralized Management
With hundreds of endpoints spread across your enterprise network, it is almost impossible to manage all of them manually. Implementing a security solution for endpoint management won’t work either as there are integration issues, redundant alerts and requires too much administration.
The best way to overcome this challenge is to use a centralized management system that ensures the integrity of your network, cheap dedicated servers and endpoints. With a centralized endpoint management system in place, you can:
- Reduce technology and management costs
- Respond quickly to suspicious activities
- Minimize security incidents
- Hassle-free deployment
2. Mult-Layered Security
If you think that installing a firewall is good enough to keep your endpoints safe, then you are wrong. With hackers becoming smarter and cyber attacks becoming more complex, a simple firewall implementation won’t cut it. You will need multi-layered security to combat the latest cybersecurity threats.
Use tools such as firewall, antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, encryption and intrusion detection systems in conjunctions in order to create foolproof security architecture. Look for solutions that secure different types of devices connected to your network.
3. Data Security
Yes, data security does not come under the umbrella of endpoint security, especially if you go by the book and definitions, but your endpoint security strategy can never be successful without considering data security. That is how important data security and asset protection is. Limit access to sensitive information and implement role-based access control (RBAC) to prevent misuse of data.
When developing an endpoint security strategy, make sure to focus on data loss prevention, file integrity monitoring, implement data governance and network segregation. Choose a centralized management system that can provide you useful insights regarding the security of your critical data assets.
4. User Awareness
Social engineering attacks, such as spear phishing attacks are quite rampant. Most of these social engineering attacks capitalize on the lack of awareness amongst employees. This makes them an easy target for cybercriminals who can easily trick them into sharing their sensitive information with hackers by pretending as a friend or family member.
Invest in employee training and education and build employee awareness about cybersecurity. Run mock social engineering attacks to see which employee fall prey and which ones don’t. The more your employees are aware of the tactics hackers use, the less likely they are to fall in the trap of hackers. Employees who are aware can also help you identify suspicious activities in your network.
5. Mobile Threat Handling
With the ubiquity of mobile devices and the amount of sensitive data these devices store, makes mobile devices a lucrative target for cyber attackers. That is why it is important to secure every mobile device connected to your company’s network. Here are some of the steps you can take to keep your mobile devices safe.
- Implement device authentication
- Keep an eye on third-party content
- Conduct mobile penetration testing
- Use of mobile VPNs
- App containerization
Depending on the number of mobile devices connected to your network at a given time, you can implement these safeguards accordingly. Actively monitor all mobile devices and ensure a secure connection because hackers target unattended mobile devices or devices that have insecure connections.
6. Intrusion Detection System
Your endpoint security strategy will not be complete without highlighting intrusion detection systems you will use. When Anton Chuvakin first used the word, “endpoint threat detection and response” back in 2013, he specified three different use cases for its explanation.
- Data search and investigation
- Suspicious activity detection
- Data exploration
According to the Data Breach Investigation report by Verizon, 82% of cybercriminals complete data retrieval in a few minutes or even less and 75% of organizations fail to respond to the incident promptly.
Implement an intrusion detection system that is quick to raise the red flag if there is any suspicious activity in your network. The faster you respond, the lesser damage cybercriminals can inflict. Keep an eye on user behavior, malicious files and other cyber attacks.
7. Incident Response
Let’s say, your intrusion detection system tells you that someone tried to break into your network and managed to succeed. What’s next? That is where your incident response processes come into play.
How do you react to such a situation?
How you react will decide your fate. If you act lazily, you might end up losing a lot of your data and money. On the other hand, if you have prepared for untoward situations in advance and react fast, you might be able to minimize the damage to a certain degree. Create an incident response strategy, so you know exactly what you need to do when you come under a cyber attack.
Which elements does your endpoint security strategy contain?? Which new innovative tools and techniques have you employed at your organization to ensure your systems are well-guarded. I’d love to see what you guys have to say in the comments section.