The Beginning of Endpoint Security

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Most businesses aren’t nearly as safe as they need to be. These days, 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses, and one-third of breached businesses lose revenues thanks to the attack. Plus, businesses stand to lose the confidence of their customers and suffer hits to their brand reputation. Considering this, it should be little surprise that 60 percent of businesses fail within six months of a cyberattack.

If you are startled by these statistics, you need to shore up your cybersecurity efforts. The prime place to start: your endpoints. Endpoints are any devices that connect to your network. Even with the strongest network in the world, endpoints offer enticing entrances for cybercriminals to gain access to your valuable information. Here’s a beginner’s guide to endpoint protection, so you can avoid being just another statistic about cybersecurity.

The Goals of Endpoint Security

As is the case with all forms of cyberdefense, the ultimate goal of endpoint security is to render cyberattacks futile and ensure private data remains private. More specifically, endpoint protection works to mitigate the risks associated with endpoints, such as insecure applications and users.

Like other business leaders, you might read these goals and wonder how they are any different than the objectives of extant cybersecurity solutions. After all, simple antivirus software frequently performs scans on endpoints to isolate and eliminate any identified threats. The fact is that antivirus software is merely one program that provides one-sided protection to a single endpoint. Meanwhile, endpoint security solutions complement an organizations’ overall security strategy with a suite of features to safeguard devices, networks, and beyond.

The Features of Endpoint Solutions

Endpoint security is more than performing intermittent virus scans. Here’s some of the primary features offered in endpoint security programs:

  • Privileged user control prevents strangers from accessing your network and data and allows only certain users to modify endpoint security settings.
  • Disk, email, and endpoint encryption scrambles all data located on and sent from endpoints.
  • Network access control allows you to determine which endpoints can connect to your network.
  • Application whitelisting gives you control over which applications are allowed to run while endpoints are connected to your network.
  • Endpoint detection and response alerts you when an endpoint tries to connect to your network. Typically, this service also analyzes the potential threat and guides you to a safe response.
  • Insider threat protection safeguards your data from users who might have legitimate access to your network and data.
  • Data classification sorts security-related data — such as information on attempted attacks — into categories for more effective use.

It is important to note that consumer and corporate endpoint protection will differ. Consumer networks typically only boast a small handful of similar devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers; thus, solutions can be less extensive and more isolated while still providing benefits. Meanwhile, businesses can include thousands of devices on their networks, and strong, central administration is necessary for secure management of endpoints.Obviously, you should search for enterprise endpoint security solutions, which tend to be more powerful and therefore more capable of protecting a wider range of devices.

The Terms of Endpoint Protection

Tech is filled with jargon that is incomprehensible to anyone lacking a degree in a related field. Though you might be familiar enough with cybersecurity to generate strong passwords or update your software, you might not recognize every term that relates to endpoint security. To remedy that, here is a small glossary for your future use:

  • Antivirus. Software that detects and responds to various forms of malware. An essential application for endpoint security.
  • Audit. An evaluation of security practices and policies. Should be performed regularly to ensure strength of endpoints.
  • Data loss. The destruction of information during storage, transmission, or processing.
  • Data loss prevention (DLP). Products that assist in the prevention of data loss, typically by controlling use of data.
  • Endpoint.Any internet-connected device on a network.
  • Endpoint security. Any process that uses endpoints to protect a network.
  • Endpoint protection platform. A product that combines several endpoint security functionalities into a single solution.
  • Exploit. A means of gaining unauthorized access to a network.
  • Incident response.A reaction to a beach or attack. Should limit damage, reduce recover time and costs, and repair endpoints and network sufficiently.
  • Network security. Policies and procedures to prevent the exploitation of a network.
  • Predictive analysis. Solutions that recognize patterns in data and predict future behavior, especially as they pertain to vulnerabilities and attacks.
  • Remote access tool. Software used to access a device from a remote location.