As a business owner or IT professional in charge of keeping networks and hardware safe, it's time to consider endpoint security. This form of security goes beyond basic antivirus software and protects your system's perimeter, including laptops, servers, desktops, and mobile devices.
As hacking becomes more frequent and more sophisticated, companies must keep up to stay safe. A complete endpoint security software system protects data and infrastructure from unknown and potentially devastating attacks.
Endpoint Security Basics
Endpoint security protects your company’s IT perimeter by monitoring the server and every device connected to a network. The best enterprise endpoint security systems use a variety of strategies to accomplish this:
- Actively hunting and detecting all types of malicious attacks
- Disrupting those attacks before they cause damage
- Monitoring and tracking all the actions of attackers
- Providing an in-depth analysis to determine the root causes of malicious attacks
- Prevention of attacks using all of this information
Not all endpoint security systems are the same. Older and more basic versions focus on known threats. They react rather than taking steps to be proactive. More advanced systems, including endpoint protection platforms (EPPs), monitor endpoints regularly. They collect and analyze data, and even use AI and behavior analytics to find threats before they become damaging attacks. With cloud-based endpoint security, IT professionals can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals by mining big data and predicting attacks.
Endpoint Security vs. Traditional Antivirus Software
Antivirus software has its place in cybersecurity, but it just doesn't provide enough protection for businesses. This traditional type of security software only scans for and finds known threats. It can discover expected malware and deal with it, but cannot predict what might come next.
What makes endpoint security different is that it includes everything you need for the most comprehensive protection. You don’t have to cobble together different strategies when you rely on endpoint security.
Antivirus software protects one computer, while EPP covers all endpoints. Rather than being reactive to threats, endpoint security is proactive, finding new threats. It uses detection and response to figure out where the next attack will be and what it will look like. A good EPP includes antivirus software as well as incident reporting, threat hunting, and predictive analytics.
Why Do Enterprises Need Endpoint Security?
The FBI announced recently that high-impact ransomware attacks constitute a significant threat to American businesses. Using this strategy, hackers encrypt files on a device so that they become unusable. They then demand a ransom to provide the code that will unlock those files.
In this report, the FBI explains that end-users are the primary targets; in other words, your employees and their computers. They recommend that businesses protect the vulnerable endpoints in their networks using a centralized system.
Ransomeware attacks tend to cost the most damage and thus receive the most attention. Still, companies also need to look out for the following forms of attack, each of which endpoint security addresses:
- Phishing– Tricking a user into clicking a link, which gives hackers access to the device.
- Malware– Malicious software usually comes in on infected downloaded files and gives the hacker access to devices.
- DDoS– A distributed denial of service infects multiple devices causing a website or network to crash.
- Website Hijacking– When hackers set up a site to download malware to any device that visits it.
These are just some of the threats your business faces, and those threats continually evolve. Just one unforeseen attack can cost a company millions of dollars. Smaller attacks may cause less damage initially, but erode your company’s reputation. If your company has hundreds, maybe thousands of endpoints, you have that same number of vulnerabilities and avenues of attack.
Is Endpoint Security Enough?
A comprehensive enterprise endpoint security system will go a long way in securing your business. You'll still need a team of security experts behind it, but having endpoint security will make their work more efficient and effective.
Your security strategy should include your entire staff. Having regular and required online safety training for all employees will complement your security team and the endpoint security system.
Spend Now, Save Later
A comprehensive endpoint security system may seem like a significant expense, but consider what you will save. Security breaches are only becoming more sophisticated, and they will cost you in the end. A security threat can compromise an entire company and possibly end it. Investing in state-of-the-art security upfront will give you peace of mind and can protect you from financial ruin.