Endpoint Security: Why you shouldn’t ignore?
Endpoint security is the practice to protect endpoints in the network, including desktops, laptops, servers, tablets etc. from malicious activities. It has become the need of an hour especially in 2021. Let’s explore why endpoints are of great interest to cyber criminals these days.
Cybercriminals often target endpoint devices to gain access to organization’s infrastructure and steal the data. These compromised endpoints can not only offer confidential data to an attacker directly, but even allow them to use them as launch pad for doing reconnaissance, performing lateral movement or even launching a final attack.
The privilege access & the network access of an compromised endpoint determines an important role in the impact of any compromise. More privileges an attacker gets on an endpoint, or the wider network access he gets from this system, the more destructive he can be.
Endpoints are also easy targets because often organizations focus less on this domain & most of the time we have serious hygiene issues on the endpoints making them a lot more vulnerable for attacks & compromise. These hygiene issues can be in the form of missing AV or AV running with old definitions, removable media allowed, not hardened etc.
Running EOL / EOS operating systems, using unauthorized softwares & missing OS or third party patches, again few common scenarios, can make these endpoints easy pray to cyber criminals.
While it’s difficult for attackers to breach the perimeter defense, it’s easy for them to compromise the roaming endpoints, when they are out of the protected corporate network. As many of these roaming endpoints do enjoy access to corporate infra even when they are away, the attacker gets easy access to the corporate network.
There is only one way to save your endpoints from cyber attacks, and that is you must have focused endpoint security. Otherwise, you can be the next target of the hackers.
Endpoint security plays a crucial role for companies, protecting them against ransomware, malware, and other endpoint attacks. The endpoint systems may have intellectual property, customer data, employee data etc. If the hackers have access to these confidential data, then the chances are high that the business might not survive for long.
Endpoint devices connected to an organization’s network are increasing every day. Especially after the popularity of BYOD and IoT. This is another reason why endpoint security is a serious matter for many companies.
How you can strengthen your endpoint security?
Many people think that running an AV is good enough to protect their endpoints where the fact is that in todays world full of file less, in memory attacks or other sophisticated attacks, signature based AV solutions are not good enough. Following are the certain things you can do strengthen your endpoint security:
- Prevent usage of EOL / EOS operating system
- Loss of productivity
- Build the endpoint using golden image with required hardening guidelines
- Prevent provisioning administrator rights to normal users
- Restrict USB / removable media access
- Enable windows firewall
- Ensure AV real time scan is ON & the definitions remain updated
- If possible augment AV with use of EDR that can detect more sophisticated attacks
- To prevent data leakage of confidential data, use DLP solution
- Regularly apply OS & third party patches
- For all moving endpoints like laptops, tablets etc, use encryption to protect the data in case you lose the assets
- Use enterprise backup solution & design backup strategy based on criticality of asset & data
While choosing any of the above mentioned solution or tools, it is important to find the solution for your business by considering some of the factors such as:
1) Number of Employees
In case your organization has a handful of employees managing devices individually may work but as you grow in number you need a solution that can centrally manage the endpoints & do offer you grouping of assets & applying different set of policies.
2) Location of Work
In case employees are working at a central location then resolving the endpoint issues is not much difficult. However, in the case of multiple locations, remote work or employees roaming outside, it is better to have a solution which has architecture & deployment strategy that can cater all these scenarios.
3) Type of Data Handled
The sensitivity of data you store or process on the endpoints requires security controls accordingly. The solution that you are planning to deploy must have options , configurations to apply the required controls meeting your data data classification.
4) Integration friendly
Gone are the days when security technologies use to work in silos. In todays world technologies are complementing each other by sharing their information with each other & tacking actions based on inputs received. Eg. AV / EDR on detecting an infection on an endpoint, requesting NAC / firewall to restrict the access for compromised hosts. Another common integration is with SIEM that is core of detection capability. You need to see how well this new solution will gel with other infra components.
Organizations that are not equipped with the desired skill set in the house, prefer hiring top cybersecurity consulting companies for helping them strengthen their endpoint security.
If you don’t have an in-house skillset to design and implement comprehensive cybersecurity for your environment, a small search in google for top VCISO in Delhi NCR or for top cybersecurity consultants in Delhi NCR or for your region will list a few cybersecurity experts around you who can help you with your cybersecurity requirements. We (Cybersec Knights) are also one of them. If you need any help, then feel free to contact us anytime.