Cybersecurity is no longer an issue that any business can afford to take lightly. Hackers and criminals are using increasingly advanced techniques, and if your organization isn’t putting sufficient resources into security, it could become an easy target. It is common to find businesses operating IT systems where remote devices are used to access the company network. However, any time these endpoint devices access a network, they create a possible opening that cybercriminals could exploit.
The WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 was an example of an endpoint attack that wreaked havoc, making headlines for the damage and disruption it caused organizations around the world, including the National Health Service in the UK. The truth, however, is that with the latest endpoint security in place, many organizations could have detected the attack early and prevented it from spreading. Here we will take a look at what endpoint security can do for your business, and how to get the most from the technology.
What is endpoint security?
In simple terms, endpoint security is the set of defense mechanisms put in place to defend the Internet-connected devices in your business, such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Endpoints can be vulnerable to a huge variety of threats such as viruses and malware, and due to the fact that they can provide an entry point to your entire network, they are a key target for cybercriminals. A hacker gaining unauthorized access to an endpoint device can be extremely damaging to your business.
There are many different types of endpoint security to choose from. One of the most common and well-known forms is antivirus software, which can be effective at protecting endpoints against known threats. However, antivirus software has its limitations. It cannot detect threats with unknown signatures, so if you are targeted by an attack that the antivirus application doesn’t recognize, it cannot prevent it from breaching your network.
Endpoint detection and response
The need to detect advanced attacks has given rise to a new generation of endpoint security capable of identifying sophisticated threats that could otherwise go undetected. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) platforms are security systems that incorporate powerful threat-hunting, behavioral monitoring, and incident response tools to significantly enhance defense capabilities.
A common problem for many businesses, however, is that they lack dedicated security professionals with the skills and knowledge to deploy, configure, manage, and monitor these technologies for best results.
How a managed EDR service can help
To help leverage the power of these tools, an increasing number of businesses are turning to managed detection and response (MDR) services to help bolster endpoint security capabilities. For a cost-effective subscription, MDR services eliminate the need for businesses to invest upfront in security resources by combining EDR technology, experienced cybersecurity professionals, and the latest threat intelligence.
Rather than attempting to address attacks after they have occurred, managed detection and response services proactively hunt for threats and facilitate swifter remediation by enabling threats to be isolated and eliminated.
Take a proactive approach
According to reports, the average dwell time of threats in 2017 was 191 days. This is especially worrying when it can take as little as a week for a threat to infiltrate a network and extract data.
A breach can be extremely costly for a business: the Ponemon Institute reported system downtime and productivity loss were the most expensive issues associated with endpoint attacks. Secondary issues such as theft of assets, damage to infrastructure, lawsuits, fines, and reputational damage can also escalate losses even further. Investing in endpoint security is an important step to obtain greater threat visibility and significantly reduce the time it takes to detect and respond to attacks.
For more on protecting critical business data from threats, see Cloud Security Fears Rise: How To Reinforce Control.