End Point Security – A Complete Guide Regardless Of Your Industries
What is Endpoint Security & How Does It Work?
Endpoint security is the discipline of locking down any element of an organization that is capable of obtaining internal access to resources such as databases or servers. It is a broad topic that forces cybersecurity professionals to look at every possible access route that a hacker might take in launching an attack.
When hackers look to execute an attack on an enterprise, they first choose what kind of mechanism they will look to exploit. This could be a website, a piece of software, or a networked device. Then they go about hunting for ways put their plan into motion, all while trying to hide their activities from defense systems.
In this article, we’ll explore what endpoint security really means in practice and how companies should implement it into their IT security strategies to help keep their workplace’s cybersecurity practices in check.
Accounting firms are among the most vulnerable to Internet threats such as viruses, hacking and malware. Given the extreme sensitivity of the data being stored and processed each day, it is critically important for firms in the accounting sector to protect internal information systems, including electronic communication between and among staff and customers. The security of your confidential data is equally important whether your firm comprises 10 or 10,000 employees.
However, let’s first run through the fundamental process of implementing endpoint security, which every organization needs to consider, regardless of their industry. In order to select the best endpoint security protection for business, it’s important to understand how endpoint security interacts with the other elements of security and how to differentiate it as well.
What is the first step you should be taking to defend your organization?
The first step a company must take is information gathering. You won’t be able to defend your network from attack unless you have a complete understanding of all the access points that connect to it. This activity should also cover Identity and Access Management (IAM) so you know who needs access to what resources.
After surveying and cataloging the various endpoints on your network, you’ll need to choose a security solution for every layer of technology. This includes hardware protection, software protection, cloud protection, and network protection. Keep in mind that certain vendors may offer a suite of services to cover your full range of needs.
At this point, you are ready to implement the selected solutions and switch to monitoring mode. You’ll need to closely test and measure how each solution performs and determine whether any major network vulnerabilities still exist. If they do, you start the entire process over again.
Endpoint Security and The Network
When it comes to endpoint security, it’s important to define what the perimeter of your local network is. All of your key business servers, databases, and applications should reside within the local network. They may be distributed between various pieces of cloud infrastructure, but thanks to the magic of IP addressing, they can all be controlled inside of a single network.
Endpoint Security and Firewalls
Some organizations make the mistake of assuming that a strong firewall can serve as a comprehensive endpoint security solution. That is not the case, especially for companies that have a high percentage of people working remotely. A full endpoint security strategy must account for these external connections, which a firewall cannot always monitor or control.
Endpoint Security in the Cloud
The cloud computing movement has introduced a wide range of benefits for software companies of all sizes. Now instead of wasting time, money, and resources managing and maintaining local servers or data centers, you can simply rent computing power from a cloud hosting provider.
But one of the downsides to a cloud-based infrastructure is new complexity when it comes to security. Every access level in your cloud architecture becomes a new endpoint that must be protected. When managing your internal risk, keep in mind that your hosting provider’s security reputation will play a key role in your endpoint reliability.
Types of Endpoint Security
One of the big decisions that a company must make is whether to invest in an on-premises or cloud-based endpoint security solution. Cloud options are more flexible and easier to adapt to your existing architecture. However, certain government or industry regulations may dictate that your security tools must reside on-premises at all times.
At the enterprise level, you will want to consider a holistic package like the Endpoint Detection. This goes beyond simple issue monitoring and alerting. A full response solution includes advanced analysis and forensics on all security incidents.
When considering different endpoint security solutions, make sure to research the different types of products that are available.
- Endpoint Encryption – This function is similar to a virtual private network client (VPN) and is responsible for encrypting all web traffic that leaves your systems. The risk of data leaks and breaches can be minimized if you keep all outgoing transmissions encrypted.
- Forensic Analysis – Tools that specialize in forensics allow you to dig deeper into known issues and diagnose where problems are starting within your network.
- IoT Protection – If your organization relies on smart, internet-connected devices like sensors or instruments, known collectively as the Internet of Things (IoT), you will want to add an extra layer of cybersecurity around them.
- Email Gateways – A large number of cyber-incidents begin through phishing scams and other email-based attacks. By adding email gateway security to your endpoint strategy, you can block suspicious messages from ever reaching your users.
- Quarantine Protection – Some endpoint security solutions will help you create a quarantine area where you can put systems or databases when you believe they are carrying a high level of risk.