Endpoints are crucial for businesses as they enable access to important files, processes, digital information, and other organization members. However, the downside is hacking and human error can easily compromise endpoint security. Endpoints are any company network’s most sensitive parts; the entire system can go down if one endpoint is affected. Strong cyber security is necessary to protect an organization’s information and assets.
Some security breaches can also be accidentally caused by human errors, such as leaving a critical account logged in. Leaving passwords around on the desk or in PC notes, an unsecured company network, or connecting to a public Wi-Fi pose a significant threat. Since data is easy to lose or compromise, endpoint security is necessary to eliminate human errors, planned attacks, and breaches.
This guide discusses the different types of endpoint security so you know which ones you need to use to protect your confidential information.
Table of Contents
What Is Endpoint Security?
Endpoint security protects devices or gadgets that act as entryways to a company’s network. Since these are open points, unauthorized entry into the network of any company or organization becomes super easy if an endpoint is left unattended.
Hackers, nation-states, insiders, malware specialists, and people running campaigns against your company can use PCs, laptops, or even mobiles. The internet can be used to download malicious codes into your network to destroy your system and perform data theft in just seconds. Protecting cloud data and endpoints is crucial.
Endpoint security is deemed the first step to cyber security when protecting a company’s network. Antivirus software, firewalls, and other dedicated software restrict access and remove corrupt files or links.
With the evolution of data and technology, the number of threats has also increased significantly. Newer methods and complex endpoint security techniques are being used to check, assess, restrict and prevent attacks caused by incoming data. Timely detection, quick response, employee awareness, and advanced security techniques can help protect a company from the core.
Devices That Act As Endpoints
Before we get to the list of the different types of endpoint security, it is necessary for you to know what devices can act as endpoints. Endpoints are devices that allow or promote human interaction. These are connected to a company or business network and can include the following:
- Mobile phones
- Medical gadgets
- Handheld scanners
- IoT equipment
11 Different Types of Endpoint Security
Understanding the different endpoint security methods can help you decide which ones you need to incorporate into your network. Combining some of these types or using them all can help protect your network, data, and users effectively. Let’s take a look at 11 types of security techniques used to protect endpoints:
Internet-of-Things or IoT equipment must be combined with dedicated software to prevent accidental leaks of important company information. The greater the amount of IoT devices, the more risk there is. This also extends to any users or customers that may interact with your network. Note that this also applies to remote employees.
When there are numerous devices and people with access to your network, nearly any endpoint can be used to gain unauthorized access to confidential information. Due to this, added security with advanced software becomes crucial.
Since the internet can be used to download malicious files or steal data, antivirus software and firewalls must be used. Opt out of using third-party applications or software, omit the use of fishy VPNs, and only use renowned browsers.
Data Loss Prevention
Data loss prevention (DLP) helps protect vital data and resources from exfiltration. Creating awareness of phishing techniques amongst employees and using anti-malware to prevent unauthorized software from causing data loss are both crucial steps of DLP. Having knowledge about data breaches and techniques used to steal data allows employees to act more vigilantly;
- They make sure they log out of the company system when they are done with work
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi
- Steer clear from sketchy websites and spam emails
Security From Internal Threats
Internal or insider threats refer to risks that come from people that are present within your own company. To prevent internal security threats, you must:
- Decide who has access to what part of your network
- Monitor users and check log-in and log-out times
- Check and monitor browsing history
- Make sure all network sessions end properly to prevent unauthorized access
- Use ZTNA (zero-trust network access) to decide which users can access critical business information
Isolating the Browser
Isolated browsing allows internet surfing in a separate environment. This method prevents malicious downloads and online hackers from gaining access to company information stored in the cloud.
Cloud perimeter security helps protect data stored in the cloud from unauthorized user and device access. Cloud firewalls are used to prevent unwanted access, and filtering tools help define user access precisely.
Encrypting data makes it difficult for hackers to decipher it, even if they accidentally gain access. Only people with a decryption key on their device can read and decipher company information. Encryption makes browsing stress-free and allows network users to download files without risking critical business assets.
Network access control or NAC works around access management. Through these controls, you get to decide:
- Who has access to the network?
- What each user has access to, and what are their roles?
- Which network segments are authorized for interaction?
Firewalls further help divide users, equipment, and confidential data segments.
Classifying data into various categories can help you decide which set of data needs added protection. It aids in defining critical endpoints that must be protected at all costs. Employees that work remotely are the most vulnerable endpoints as they can easily get a hold of company and customer information with the intention of misuse. You can use data classification to give such employees the least amount of access.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) filtration is necessary to block suspicious websites that can cause a malware attack. Restricting network users from accessing such sites is made possible through specialized hardware or firewalls.
If you wish to create an environment close to a regular end-user system, your best bet is to use sandboxing to isolate and segment critical network regions. Sandboxing particular applications is a feature that allows this method to be used on most kinds of endpoints.
SEG (Secure email gateway) monitors the emailing system for incoming and outgoing messages. The gateway bans access to the email when the system detects unwanted links or malicious files. This prevents the system/device from getting compromised.
An awareness of endpoint security, its types, and how it protects crucial information from leaking can help you take the right measures for business security. Data breaches can cause you to lose critical information to competitors and risk the misuse of customer data. It can even lead to losing confidential financial information, which increases the chances of theft and fraud.
Hackers and malware can destroy entire networks and systems, causing a considerable loss. Getting rid of malware can be troublesome and will indeed cause a hindrance to smooth workflow. Using the correct endpoint security can help you minimize and even eliminate the chances of such attacks, loss of data, and accidental human error.
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