It should go without saying that cybersecurity is imperative for businesses operating in the Digital Era, and yet too many business leaders fail to focus on improving their cybersecurity strategies as their businesses grow and change. As your network and data increase in size and scope, you need to make measured progress with your security tools and techniques — especially when it comes to endpoints.
Endpoint security is without a doubt the most important element of a business’s security strategy because it defends against the vast majority of attack vectors targeting business data. If you haven’t done anything to alter your endpoint security since you set it up, here are a few intelligent ways to bring your endpoint strategy into the present.
Prioritize the Most Important Features
By now, you should already have an endpoint security system in place — which means going over the essential components of endpoint security isn’t valuable. You should already have antivirus programs, behavior monitoring, application control and the like. Instead, at this point in your cybersecurity journey, you should be focused on fine-tuning your endpoint security, which could be a different process for different businesses.
Fortunately, there are a few features that need critical improvement, across the board. If you aren’t certain how to keep your endpoint security moving forward, you can always turn to these four features:
Preventative capabilities identify threats and thwart them before they reach the network level. At its most basic, prevention includes antivirus software, but you should prioritize automatic detection and remediation, which relies on more advanced technology — like artificial intelligence — to anticipate attacks and stop them.
Detection and Response
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is perhaps the most powerful and thus most important prevention solution. Unlike other prevention techniques, EDR monitors endpoints in real time, offering significantly greater visibility than other tools and providing context and information to help you make smarter response decisions.
Every endpoint on your network has its own firmware, which protects the device in its own way. A failure to download and install updates to the firmware results in vulnerabilities that put the business at risk. Unfortunately, users often delay updates and patches, so patch management must be a vital component of your endpoint security strategy. These tools identify when patches are available and deploy them across devices, automatically.
Watch for Security Vulnerabilities
It isn’t uncommon for elements of a business’s cybersecurity plan to get tacked on over time. As your budget grows and your organization changes, you might integrate new bits and pieces of protection to ensure you are as secure as can be. Unfortunately, this method of security management can actually increase your vulnerability over time as gaps develop between solutions or conflicts amongst solutions emerge. Additionally, as your business adds endpoints, many may remain unprotected by endpoint solutions and thereby pose risks to your organization.
The easiest and cheapest way to improve your endpoint security is to look out for these vulnerabilities as they emerge over time. You might schedule an annual audit of your endpoint security to help you identify these gaps and prevent easy and devastating attacks.
Avoid Overspending and Overcomplicating
Cybersecurity is important — and endpoint security is incontrovertibly a vital component of cybersecurity for businesses and consumers alike. However, bigger security budgets won’t necessarily bring you better endpoint security. In fact, blindly spending money on your endpoints is a good way to reduce the effectiveness of your security because it could result in conflicting solutions or persistent gaps in coverage. Worse, piling more and more security solutions onto endpoints will slow them down, reducing the productivity of your workforce and creating frustration from employees across the board.
Instead of focusing on the cost of your endpoint solutions, you should pay close attention to the effectiveness of them. You should work with an endpoint security specialist and your existing IT security team to better understand what your endpoints need now and into the future to stay safe from existing and emerging threats.
Endpoint security — indeed, any cybersecurity strategy — is never set-and-forget. As your business develops, so too must your endpoint security grow and change. Unless you want to end up like the 55 percent of organizations that have been affected by cyberattack, you need to constantly improve your endpoint protection.