The working world has changed - there are now more endpoints to secure than ever before. Employees working from home or in a hybrid capacity have brought many challenges to offices looking to secure their servers from malware. After all, a significant security threat can come from any unsecured device that a worker uses. Malicious actors are well aware of the increase in endpoints (as well as the increase in unsecured endpoints) and have ramped up their attacks looking for vulnerabilities. In turn, it has become vital that organizations take every precaution to ensure their endpoints are locked down to avoid the consequences of a major data breach or threat event, which could hurt their brand, destroy customer trust or cost them millions of dollars.
Endpoint security explained
At their core, endpoints are any devices that connect to your corporate network. Given the popularity of BYOD, as well as the necessity of hybrid and remote work in recent years, the number of endpoint devices that are being used in a typical network has quickly inflated to be a far greater number than ever before. These devices can be wide-ranging and include:
- Mobile Phones
- IoT Devices (android & iOS devices)
Every single one of these endpoint devices can be targeted by malicious actors and present a threat to your network security if not consistently monitored for malware or signs of breach. To help protect against these threats, an endpoint protection platform (EPP) must be used to reduce an organization’s threat profile and to investigate and respond when a security breach does happen. As a helpful analogy, think of these kinds of endpoint security solutions as the frontline in an organization’s efforts in the constant battle to keep its network free of malware and maintain security over its data.
How EPPs work to keep your network secure
Endpoint protection platforms help to keep networks safe by continuously monitoring an organization’s files, processes and systems for any kind of behavior that could pose a threat to your security and keep close watch for signs of malicious activity. These solutions tend to provide companies with a central view of their network, allowing admins to easily oversee their network’s health and quickly act to remediate any problems that might arise. This model of frontline enterprise security can be hosted in a variety of different ways depending on needs. As CrowdStrike defines these models, Traditional, Hybrid and cloud-native architectures each have their own unique benefits:
- A traditional approach leverages on-premise data centers to provide endpoint security using a hub-and-spoke security model.
- A hybrid approach takes advantage of the built architecture of the traditional model and adjusts it to be able to take advantage of some cloud capabilities, enhancing the flexibility of the endpoint security solution.
- A cloud-native approach is built within and solely for usage over the cloud. Working through the cloud provides administrators with the most flexibility in keeping watch over their endpoints and provides the most robust performance in terms of security.
Why protecting your endpoints is vitally important
As time goes on, organizations are getting more complex and the technology needed to run them grows every day. This, combined with the pandemic creating a global working culture of hybrid and remote work has resulted in a vast growth in endpoints that any organization needs to manage. With more devices to secure, data breaches have been increasing and the complexity of keeping a company safe has grown.
The cost of a data breach has grown alongside the amount of devices that a company needs to manage. In 2022 in the U.S., each data breach costs a company $9.44 million on average, per Statista. This is a 35% increase from what a breach would have cost in 2016 ($7.01 million). While that may seem like a large hit, the monetary cost isn’t the only thing to be worried about. Data breaches can reduce customer trust and create a long tail of an organization’s end-users switching to competitors as soon as their contracts allow them. Worse still, organizations that have proprietary data they need to keep a competitive advantage may have to worry about it leaking or losing it entirely.
One of the most common adages of cybersecurity is that the weakest link in any network security model is the people who interact with it. Phishing and other social engineering scams are a common way into any network and can provide problems for any organization, even ones with strong training models for their employees. This is where robust endpoint security software and policies help come into play. As a rule, organization’s can’t stop everything from getting into their network, but a fully realized EPP solution can help find and fix the issue before it becomes a real threat.
Common endpoint security risks
Threat actors like to target corporate endpoints as a way to collect valuable data, or to extract money with the threat of ransom. Some of the most common types of cyber attack that endpoint security software helps to prevent include:
- Phishing: Phishing attacks can be devastating for any organization if not found and dealt with quickly. These attacks can upload many types of malware or other malicious software to your network or to the specific endpoint which can end up compromising your entire system. Potentially worse than malware, many threat actors have been using living off the land (LOTL) attacks which use legitimate credentials and built-in tools to evade detection by legacy antivirus software. Of threats detected by the Crowdstrike Security Cloud, 62% of detected attacks were malware free.
- Ransomware: One of the hottest topics in cybersecurity today, endpoints are a fantastic way for attackers to gain access to your network, or just to lock select employees out of their devices. This attack type is common and growing even more prolific by the day. In 2021, CrowdStrike found that ransomware related data leaks had grown 82%, with 2,686 attacks in the year as compared to 1,474 in 2020.
- Installation of keyloggers: Once installed, keyloggers can be used to collect employee data, credentials or critical information for your company.
- Zero-day attacks: These attacks present a fair amount of risk for organizations as they’re unknown, very hard to detect and can cause large amounts of damage on any network. Some of the world’s most dangerous and famous viruses have been zero-day attacks (Stuxnet for example took advantage of zero-day vulnerabilities). In order to block these attacks, behavior analysis and AI must be used to find them before their impact grows out of control. It’s critical that organizations have both a plan, and the software in place to mitigate the impact of zero-day attacks.
The best practices for implementing endpoint security
When looking to implement a robust endpoint security infrastructure, there are many ways in which an organization can make sure their policies and software works optimally for them. The following best practices work universally to ensure that devices are less of a potential liability for your network’s security in the face of an endpoint attack:
- Implement zero trust policies: Zero trust policies continuously verify all users on an organization’s network, requiring them to be consistently validated, authenticated and authorized to perform each of their individual actions on your network. This is especially important in the time of remote work as it’s near impossible to retain physical security for your endpoints. A strong framework for organizations to follow when implementing zero trust is NIST 800-207, as it is also required for every U.S. Federal Agency, meaning it has gone through a strong series of tests and oversight at many different levels. To paraphrase from CrowdStrike’s excellent resource on the matter, zero trust policies aim to always verify access all the time, minimize any impact if a breach does occur and automatically collect context and respond to breaches.
- Ensure your employees are trained: As previously mentioned, the weakest link in any corporate cybersecurity operation are the people interacting with your endpoints. Training employees to spot phishing emails or potential malware can quickly help to reduce the amount of attacks that actually make it to your security system. Ensuring that employees consistently lock their devices can also help to minimize risks to your data in the case of a theft event.
- Continuously test your security: It’s critical that your organization is constantly testing the limits of your security systems by performing audits or stress tests to ensure that there are no simple ways into your network. By constantly testing your company’s capacity to deal with data breaches, not only do you gain a significant amount of knowledge about your security posture, you’re also giving your team the practice needed to quickly respond when a real cyber threat event occurs.
- Never stop searching: While many endpoint protection solutions are automated, they can’t catch everything by themselves. New exploits are created every day, and it’s best if organizations are actively looking for threats on top of what an endpoint protection platform can grant you.
How WiLine helps organizations protect their endpoints
WiLine has partnered with CrowdStrike to deliver the best possible endpoint protection for organizations like yours. As recognized leaders in endpoint security, according to the Gartner Magic Quadrant, CrowdStrike’s EPP is one of the best ways to prevent threat events on your corporate network. Using their solution, we help deliver turnkey protection for your network from day one. Everything that CrowdStrike provides to our customers is adversary-focused and follows industry-adopted threat research with groundbreaking security front-and-center in all of their products.
WiLine's endpoint protection platform in partnership with CrowdStrike is one of the most robust solutions on the market and offers a unique approach to endpoint security and threat protection. It unifies a set of technologies within its lightweight platform that are uniquely situated to stop breaches. These technologies include a next-gen antivirus software, an endpoint detection and response tool, as well as advanced threat detection tools such as managed threat hunting and threat intelligence automation. This tool monitors your local processes for patterns that indicate threats and is based on a worldwide neural network that has taken trillions of samples. Through the CrowdStrike console, your organization will be able to identify the origin of threats and the actions they take on your compromised devices. This information will help you ensure that you can quickly create defenses to mitigate similar threats.
In conjunction with CrowdStrike’s EPP, WiLine has a specialized cybersecurity team that is not only able to deploy endpoint protection solutions, but tailor them to your specific needs. Our team will also continue to monitor your environment to look for threats and possible improvements. Our core security belief is that in order for our clients to have adequate protection it’s necessary to to combine the best solutions on the market with certified and experienced professionals who can deliver an optimal service experience.
By working with WiLine for your endpoint security needs, our mission is to provide you with the tools that you need to ensure that your sensitive data and employees are protected from the myriad unknown and known threats that every organization faces today. Learn more about how we can help protect your endpoints with our 15-day free trial today.
WILINE NETWORKS MEDIA CONTACT:Rodrigo Cunha