11 Sep, 2017

Do You Have A Strong Endpoint Security Plan? If Not, You Need One

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Do you use computer devices such as laptops, tablets, desktop computers, or smartphones in order to carry out business operations? Do you store important information on these devices?

If your answer is yes, that means you are using endpoint devices to deal with information, that can ultimately be turned into data. And as we know, data is extremely important to secure, no matter what industry you work in.

When it comes to hackers and security breaches, endpoints are a major target. So, as a business professional, conducting a strong endpoint security plan will be beneficial.

“Over the past year or so, we’ve increasingly seen the endpoints being specifically targeted on the consumer side and the corporate side. Once an endpoint is compromised, the bad guys have free rein on the internal network to steal information, compromise more machines, and/or turn these devices into zombies that are ready-to-launch denial-of-service attacks, send spam and phishing messages.” TechTarget reports.

So, why are endpoints threatened the most?

According to TechTarget, endpoints are threatened the most because they are the easiest to gain access to. There are also other factors involved such as:

  • Insecure operating systems – Since a majority of the world runs Microsoft Windows, finding client-side vulnerabilities has been like shooting fish in a barrel for the bad guys. Many SMBs don’t patch immediately, so common exploits become big issues.
  • Increasing mobility – In today’s mobile world, most people have laptops, and they keep private information on them. Not only is there a thriving market for “hot” laptops, but if a bad guy is specifically trying to compromise your company, one of the easiest places to start is by pilfering a laptop.

Think of an endpoint like a weak link. It is the least secure part of the network that can give hackers quick access to a company’s server. This proves that that can not be ignored when conducting security plans.

Endpoints tend to be under-protected since they are operated by humans, which are prone to error. This creates vulnerabilities that leave devices open to attacks.

Most content and data can be accessed through the endpoint, and application credentials live there. All an attacker needs to do in order to successfully hack an endpoint is to trick the user into clicking something malicious, which leads to an attack on the entire server.

“End users love to click on stuff. They open messages from people they don’t know, divulge private information to strangers, download random software and click on ads and links without regard to what lurks behind. Most users I’ve come across can’t help it. They also know they shouldn’t have done something after the damage is done. But it seemed like a good idea at the time.” TechTarget reports. 

How To Protect Endpoints

Since many enterprises are incorporating BYOD into their business structure, it is becoming more important than ever to have a reliable endpoint security strategy.

One way to control an endpoint device is to implement an approach that requires certain security requirements in order to have access to the company’s network.

This can be umbrellaed under a policy based management, which maintains security and control in an organization. When it comes to cyber security, policies are important and can determine the safety of devices that store data.

You can also install software onto your devices such as anti virus software or personal firewalls. (Hey, we talked about firewalls in a recent Digital Diary post. Missed it? read it here.)

You can start to protect endpoint devices with a simple password that denies entry to foreign users. Blocking inbound and outbound ports on routers that forbid the hacker to access the machines.

Cyber attacks on data is a common occurrence nowadays since mobile devices are continuing to become more popular. It is important for CIO’s and IT professionals to stay knowledgeable about different attacks that can occur, so data can be protected.

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