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What is endpoint security? - An introduction

Endpoint security concerns the monitoring, protection, and restriction of endpoints – in this case, personal devices connected to corporate networks. These devices become cyberattack targets without proper security mechanisms and can be mishandled if lost or stolen.

In many organizations, employees use personal devices, such as laptops and cell phones, to connect to a corporate network, allowing them to work remotely. However, when employees have their own devices, they become points at which attackers can launch malicious activity. This gives rise to an important issue that has become even more salient during the pandemic’s work-from-home structure: endpoint security.

Endpoint security in cybersecurity involves deploying specialized software to each endpoint device in a network to protect its data and resources from malicious actors. This software typically monitors the activity of the endpoint, scans for malicious files, and can even detect and block suspicious network traffic.

The below information presents only a concise and abridged overview of endpoint security. If your organization requires endpoint protection and services, contact us at CDG for more information and expert guidance.

How do you secure endpoints?

endpoint security infographic

Endpoint security involves assessing the security of a third party’s systems and networks, including their hardware, software, and data storage with a third-party risk assessment. This helps to ensure that any data shared between the two parties is secure and protected from potential threats.

In order to ensure an organization is not vulnerable to attacks, every possible hole and shortcoming must be addressed. Therefore, every single endpoint must be, and remain, secured at all times.

First, the organization should know who possesses and uses each endpoint. If two employees share the same personal device (like a home computer), both users must be identified. To continue with the home computer example, the organization must also track where the endpoint is located and what kind of data/websites it can access if an employee cannot use a specific range of websites while at work, they should not be able to access said range while using a home computer that is connected to the same corporate network. Therefore, organizations should be blocking unauthorized websites. Given the need to control who accesses the home computer’s portal to the corporate network, the organization must also authenticate and limit user logins.

Malware can enter through the most inconspicuous of ways. Users can accidentally become victims of attacks by downloading unsafe applications. Therefore, there must also be limits on the applications that can be used by each personal device. To go back to the home computer, said device must be restricted from downloading malicious applications that have not been permitted for use by the organization’s security team.

One of the most important aspects of endpoint security is detecting, managing, and responding to potential threats and attacks. Advanced computing systems can be used to detect suspicious activity occurring on personal devices. If an endpoint has received a phishing email, is exposed to a virus, has been penetrated by malware, or any other host of attacks, the security team must receive immediate notification. This must be at a scale that meets the organization’s needs.

Furthermore, if an attack takes place or is ongoing, the team and the endpoint security must have in place methods and procedures to respond and defend against threats. As well if data is lost, ensure it was encrypted in the first place. By having a robust endpoint security system in place, every user (and the organization) can be more secure.

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