What is Endpoint Security?

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Mohammad Baker Ahmed Almousawi

Intern

Published:

12 Oct, 2020

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What is an Endpoint?

An endpoint refers to one end of a communication channel, this can be a device, tool, application or service that are all connected through a network. They have contributed in the transformation of business workplaces granting employees the permission to use technology that is more convenient for them and the approval to work from home.

The rise of ‘bring your own devices’.

Bring your own device or BYOD refers to employees having the opportunity to bring devices of their own which they are most confident with and comfortable using; employees also believe that their own tech is much better than those offered at their workplace. This market is expected to reach $367 billion by the end of 2022, making it more accessible for workers to gain the tools and services they need to perform their job and keep productive.

BYOD devices include tablets, laptops or a smartphone with some company’s going as far as allowing people to bring their own PC’s and software. Organisations and businesses facilitating for people to bring their own tech to work has said to improve morale, productivity and satisfaction enabling them to remain focused and on task. A 2016 Cisco Annual Report found that companies can save an average of $350 per year on each employee with BYOD, and 69% of IT decision makers were in favour of it.

Advantages of BYOD

  • Effeciency and productivity at work

BYOD’s popularity seems to stem from the many advantages it has in the workplace. A study conducted by BT Global Services showed 42% of employees who use their own devices agreed it improved their efficiency and productivity whilst working, proving that using a device you are comfortable with has a slight effect on your work ethic.

  • Save on costs and time

Not only is money saved per worker a year for bringing their own devices but allowing employees to use their own means a lesser need for an IT team, as people are able to manage their own technology so time spent worrying and fixing technological issues are drastically reduced.

Disadvantages of BYOD

  • Devices can be misplaced or stolen

Losing your device or it being stolen results in lost data and provides a thief easy access to the company’s sensitive information. If the organisation is unable to act fast to erase the information, then the chances of being able to get the data back once it’s been accessed by someone else is highly unlikely.

  • Failing to put security first

Technology is highly reliant on updates to be kept safe from harm. If your employee is unwilling or carless in putting simple security measures in place, it positions your company’s private data at risk which may lead to a system breach.

What is Endpoint Security?

With the rise in BYOD the odds of employees using unsafe apps to store data and information, the chances of data breaches are substantially higher. So, the need for adequate security has become mandatory.

Endpoint security is the cyber security services for endpoints on a network. Its task is to secure numerous endpoints on a network and to address potential risks that result in devices connecting to networks. Devices such as laptops, PCS and mobile phones presents entryways for threats which means the need for effective security within enterprises is more important than ever, as employees can bring their own laptops and mobile phones to connect to the company’s network system.

Endpoint security offers features for both consumers and enterprises, making it accessible for anyone. Services such as data loss prevention, network access control, data classification, insider threat protection and more. It can provide sufficient aid in preventing and managing issues such as leakage of sensitive data or unauthorised access.

Endpoint security concerns

Key findings from the ‘Third Annual Study on the State of Endpoint Security Risk’ research reveals there is no progress made by organisations to reduce security risk. They found a prevalence in zero-day attacks along with extreme financial consequences of successful endpoint attacks.

Granting permission for outside devices to be connected to your network provides hackers with access points to pursue attacks to breach or dismantle your network. BYOD has become susceptible to threats, more so because of the requirement to work remotely this past year. The cost of an endpoint attack is predicted to increase by $2 million this year as it rose from $7.1 million in 2018 to $8.9 million in 2019 and 68% companies from the Annual Study on the State of Endpoint Security stating they had faced one or more endpoint attacks within 12 months. However, 51% of respondents shared their organisations had not dealt with the threats properly due to the inefficiency of their current tools. Unfortunately, the detection of these threats is becoming increasingly difficult.

With the time it takes to apply and deploy patches and the lack of detection and response technology, it is obvious people are unable to deal with and handle the challenges that have come with endpoint threats. Because of a lack of expertise within the company, many are forced to outsource protection especially as standard antivirus products and tools are seemingly incapable of handling threats. With 60% of endpoint attacks are being missed, it is obvious more sufficient tools are mandatory to deter the exploitation of vulnerabilities. 

Why is Endpoint Security important?

Neglecting security for the endpoints connected to your network is careless and will only lead to severe consequences. Assuming your endpoints are secure and is nothing for you to be concerned about is quite ignorant. Absolutes’ 2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report highlighted that 70% of breaches still occur and originate at endpoints, with 42% of endpoints experiencing encryption failures that leave the complete network susceptible to a breach. Absolute also found endpoints failed most often because of the feeble nature of their encryption agents configurations, with 2% of encryption agents failing every week and multiple endpoint security solutions produce more harm and create further opportunities for breaches than eliminating it. But what does this all mean for your businesses and organisations?

Endpoint security is specifically developed to tackle and protect the endpoints connected to your network from malicious attackers, providing you with a method and the tools required to secure your data. This is done by taking note of and investigating each of the companies endpoints.

Features of the security provided include regulating data traffic to monitor communications for sensitive data through data loss prevention to ensure private information is kept within your organisation. Application whitelisting is another product offered through endpoint security that places control with the administrators over which programs are allowed to run on a user’s machine or on the network. The blockade on permitting employees to download apps or programs is a preventative measure to hinder the possibility of malicious programs being downloaded, then ran on the system. Other products offered include insider threat protection, network access control, data classification and endpoint and email encryption.

How does Endpoint Security work?

Endpoint security can be split into ‘on-premise endpoint security’ and ‘cloud-based endpoint security’. 

On-premise endpoint security typically is not the best option for businesses conscious of costs and are in dire need to save money. It requires securing all network endpoints by a solution hosted and maintained in-house, so all the costs that come with it necessitates an enormous investment from the organisation in need of the security. For this reason, cloud-based endpoint security is a highly recommended option for those who are incapable to fulfil the demands of on-premise security. Cloud-based endpoint security secures all network endpoints through cloud vendor servers. It is a much more cost-effective method that can function within minutes, and users are offered rapid responses to threats and constant monitoring of their system.

To safeguard your data and workflows of individual devices, there are practices and various types of endpoint security to block threats. A few examples of the different methods are: endpoint encryption, email gateways and IoT protection. Endpoint encryption works to protect your data by scrambling it in order to make the sensitive information unreadable without a key. To prevent an attack to your network through E-mails, email gateways provide malware blocking and content filtering to eliminate the risk. IoT protection is conducted by installing an ‘endpoint detection and response’ system to monitor and scan your devices for vulnerabilities. Because of the growing vulnerabilities and risks that come with endpoints, ensuring the protection of your data across entire networks is vital – placing time and effort into security guarantees the growth and safety of your business.

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About author:

Intern

Mohammad Baker Ahmed Almousawi

Intern

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