In today’s dynamic business environment, a multitude of endpoint devices are being used by employees to complete their work. In fact, according to a survey by Forrester, about 74% of information workers used two or more devices for work, while 52% used three or more!
An endpoint device is any LAN- or WAN-connected piece of hardware that communicates across a network. Commonly used endpoint devices include desktops, laptops, mobile devices, tablets, and printers.
With hybrid and remote working here to stay, BYOD policies are becoming the norm, causing the number of remote devices to increase. Always – but especially because of this – it is important for businesses to have complete visibility into each endpoint device and take the necessary measures for proper endpoint security.
Endpoint Visibility: The Best Practices You Need to Know
Organizations across all industries and sizes are constantly at risk for cyber threats that can lead to costly breaches and data loss. Endpoint visibility should be at the forefront of your IT security strategy, as endpoints are quite likely to be the first choice for an attacker trying to penetrate your organization’s network.
This blog will highlight the importance of endpoint visibility and control and give you three fundamental best practices to consider in your approach to endpoint detection and response.
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1. Secure Endpoint Devices
The first step in effective endpoint management is to conduct an asset inventory of all the endpoint devices that exist in your business ecosystem. Doing so will give you more visibility and control of all your endpoints, thereby making your endpoint protection and management solutions that much stronger.
In addition, you want to regularly audit all your endpoints and make sure they are properly configured to avoid security and compliance issues. For example, if an employee were to modify antivirus configurations on a personal device that is also used for business purposes, your organization’s attack surface could be opened wide up.
Establishing protocols that update operating systems company-wide, give administrators the ability to control software deployments on employee devices, and automate patch management solutions can go a long way in improving the management and security of your endpoints.
2. Train Your Users
According to the FBI, phishing was the most common type of cybercrime in 2020. The report also shows that phishing incidents nearly doubled in frequency, from 114,702 incidents in 2019 to 241,324 incidents in 2020. Knowing that phishing is the main threat vector utilized by attackers in today’s business landscape, it is paramount to invest in tools that can stop a phishing attempt in its tracks before it can infiltrate your network – and it all starts with security awareness training for your users.
By creating a formal security awareness training program, you can reduce the number of phish-prone users by 50% within just a few months and by 90% within the first year. This means you are reducing your entire organization’s risk by 40-72% with this tactic alone. With most security awareness training platforms costing as little as $3 per user per month – and when you take into consideration the average cost of a data breach ($3.86 million according to IBM) – a security awareness training program is a phenomenal investment that yields a high ROI for your business.
Once you’ve built a culture of security awareness and your users become familiar with the telltale signs of phishing, they can leverage tools such as the “Phish Alert” button in Outlook. This is a new feature that allows users to report suspected phishing emails to the organization’s security team in real time, helping to improve your organization’s IT security posture on an ongoing basis.
3. Implement Prevention, Detection & Response Controls
As cybersecurity threats continue to increase both in volume and complexity, so too does the demand for sophisticated endpoint security solutions. Even with a successful security awareness training program and other cyber defense mechanisms such as antivirus and firewall solutions, it is inevitable that some sort of incident will occur in your environment – it’s just a matter of when.
Knowing this, it is critical that detection and response technologies are part of your IT security solution so threats can be immediately recognized and acted upon to minimize damage to your company.
Some common forms of prevention, detection, and response controls include:
- Behavioral analysis. This is based on machine learning algorithms that can identify unknown or zero-day threats and help detect insider threats.
- Sandboxing. This is the practice of isolating a piece of potentially malicious software in a confined environment to reduce the risk of errors or malware affecting other systems.
- Threat intelligence. This is when data from multiple feeds and threat frameworks – such as MITRE ATT&CK – are combined to identify and add context to incidents.
- Endpoint detection and response. EDR capabilities help security teams detect breaches on an endpoint as they happen, investigate them, and rapidly respond. Learn more about EDR.
Check out this blog from Buchanan partner ArmorPoint on Extended Detection & Response (XDR) technology.
Looking to Enhance Your Endpoint Visibility?
Are you looking for ways to better secure your company’s data across business applications and multiple endpoints without adding a lot of IT overhead and costs? Explore Buchanan’s managed cybersecurity solutions today.