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Introduction to Endpoints: What’s an Endpoint and How to Protect It?

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Now that businesses are embracing remote setup, managers and IT security teams have to double up their efforts in ensuring that every endpoint of their network is well protected and secured against cyber attacks.

Considered as one of the most vulnerable parts of a system, organizations have to implement advanced security protections against threats and malicious activities—most especially now that traditional anti-virus software can no longer give enough defense against most sophisticated threats today. In addition, if not kept safe, cyber attackers can easily penetrate an endpoint, providing them with an easy passage to steal valuable data and interrupt business operations.

What is an Endpoint?

With this, every manager must know what endpoints are and what are the things they can do to protect them.

WHAT IS AN ENDPOINT?

Also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), endpoints are devices, such as smartphones, laptops, PCs, desktops, tablets, servers, and any technologies, services, tools, or applications that are connected to your network. Meaning, they are commonly used by a regular workforce to get their job done in an organization. An endpoint also allows users to interact with their colleagues and their audience, enabling them to monitor and gather insightful data about their end-users. It is crucial in the modern enterprise IT strategy, too, as it also works as:
  • Extension of the network: endpoints that allow users to receive information from the internet and interact with other endpoints and backend systems within the organization.
  • Source of data: it can be used to monitor the temperature or logs of the network traffic, which will be analyzed to deliver valuable insights for critical business decisions.
  • Edge computers:  endpoints also help to extend the computing capacity of a network. It limits the amount of data that can interact with a host device and backend network, meeting computation requirements.
  • Computing and automation device:  endpoints are also used to receive instructions and conduct an automated maneuver.

WHY ENDPOINT SECURITY IS IMPORTANT?

According to research, 74% of IT professionals consider endpoints to be the most vulnerable part of a network. This is one of the main reasons why cyber attackers usually target an endpoint, using it as a starting point to put malware and then spreading it out to compromise other devices within the network. So, without enhanced security, it would be easier for an attacker to target an endpoint and roll out their plan to attack the network of an organization and steal valuable data from them.

HOW TO PROTECT EVERY ENDPOINT OF YOUR NETWORK?

Educate endpoint users about phishing emails

Prevention is better than cure. Hence, if you can educate your staff about possible threats that they might face on a daily basis, then they can help keep the network secure through simple things. One of these threats is phishing emails. Becoming more aware of this common attack will also make them smarter endpoint users who won’t fall victim to possible malware attacks that can compromise your network.

Regularly update web application, browser, and server software

One of the reasons why it’s a lot easier for cyber attackers to target endpoints is because users usually do not update everything installed on their devices. With this, applications and other tools stored in their device don’t have a more sophisticated security feature, designed to combat the possible attacks and other malicious activities that may penetrate their system.

Turn attacks intro threat intelligence

Threat intelligence within your network is usually gained through encounters with unique attacks. Hence, when your endpoints have been compromised, your IT security team must gather all information and data about the attack, giving your organization valuable insights that can be used against cyber attacks. This way, your team can implement an effective response that can fight the attack and prevent it from penetrating your network again in the future.

Install an Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tool

Last but definitely one of the most advanced ways to protect your endpoints and the entire network itself, your organization must choose the right EDR solution that can detect and respond when an attack occurs within your network. Most EDR solutions also send alerts to endpoint users and IT security teams when it detects malicious activities happening in one’s device, hence, preventing it from happening. In addition, EDR tools can intelligently get to know threats, providing your team with valuable information that can help improve your endpoint security.

TAKEAWAYS

Contrary to what people know, endpoint devices — like smartphones, laptops, desktops, and other units connected to a network — play a vital role in keeping an organization safe against online attacks and malicious activities. These devices are usually used as a pathway to compromise and paralyze the entire network, resulting in business disruption and lost revenue. Hence, it must be kept secure all the time.

One of the most advanced ways to protect endpoints is to have an EDR tool, suited for your business model. At Comodo, you can choose a solution that can match your unique situation and budget.

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