Security used to be so simple for the average business. You installed anti-virus (AV) solutions, trained employees not to click on unknown links, and kept software and websites up to date. For a few low-risk companies, that may still be the case, but the vast majority of small to midsize companies now need to fortify against new, advanced threats that can get around traditional AV. With the rise of more advanced threat vectors and the use of Work-from-Home technologies businesses are facing greater threats to data and workflow and need a different type of protection to mitigate that risk.
The 2021 “Cost of a Data Breach Report” by IBM and the Ponemon Institute states that:
“The average total cost of a data breach was more than $1 million higher where
remote working was a factor in causing the breach compared to breaches where remote working was not a factor.”
Here are a few examples of some of the risks we’re seeing in the marketplace now:
- Weaponized documents that may seem like harmless PDF attachments in your emails but execute attacks once they enter your network. Fileless threats that don’t require downloads, but execute from memory, making them difficult to identify.
- Zero-day threats that find an unknown computer vulnerability and exploit it before software or hardware providers can issue updates.
- Ransomware attacks, which can disable IT networks and lock you out of your data/workflow.
The Role of Endpoint Security
The more devices that are connected to a company network results in more possible entry points for an attacker to gain access to data. With the average employee using at least 3 devices for work, all it takes is one crack for a criminal to launch an attack.
What exactly is endpoint protection? In a basic sense, it is any protective measure that prevents endpoint devices from being compromised. Most people are quick to think of antivirus when they think of endpoint security, but there’s a lot more to it.
What are the biggest threats to endpoints?
- Phishing: Attacks designed to trick users into clicking malicious links and email attachments
- Spear phishing: Targeted phishing attacks that appear to be from sources you know and trust
- Unpatched vulnerabilities: Flaws, bugs, or weaknesses discovered in software that can lead to security concerns and exploits
- Malvertising: Attack campaigns that deliver payloads of malware by disguising themselves as ads
- Drive-by-downloads: Attacks that install malware on an endpoint as soon as the user visits an infected website.
Benefits of endpoint protection:
- Stop attacks where they start: By cutting off an infection before it has a chance to spread you drastically reduce the costs and complexity associated with remediation.
- Strengthen your “weakest link”: Shoring up your endpoints will raise your organization’s barrier to entry and solidify your IT security posture across the board.
- Provide your users with a safety net: Everyone makes mistakes, and when that happens to one of your users, having their device protected can prevent the wrong click from becoming a catastrophe.
- Keep machines up and running: Having even just one machine out of commission can be costly to a business. Strong endpoint protection helps you avoid downtime and keep important systems and files accessible.