Monday, 28 August 2023 15:41

Endpoint Security Best Practices - Proven Examples for Effective Protection

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As employees use personal devices to connect to the company network, it is crucial to implement endpoint security best practices. Otherwise, hackers can set foot in a digital network and move laterally. Using encryption can prevent eavesdropping and data theft by making information unreadable to people without the decryption key. Encryption is especially beneficial in BYOD environments.

Installing Next-Generation Endpoint Security Solutions

Effective endpoint protection requires a combination of multiple layers. These include antivirus software, which can catch malware after it enters the network, Zero Trust controls to ensure that unauthorized users cannot access networks, and granular application control to prevent untrusted applications from running on devices. But the sophistication of threat actors has overpowered first-generation tools. In addition, increased BYOD devices and a lack of cybersecurity hygiene among dispersed workers have increased the likelihood of a breach by exposing weaknesses in traditional defenses. To counter this, an advanced endpoint security solution must address the new threats created by these emerging attacks and protect against a wide range of vulnerabilities; this is one of the endpoint security examples. It should offer on-premises and cloud deployment options for flexibility, scalability, and real-time threat intelligence delivery. It should also provide industry-leading detection and response without bogging devices with constant scanning or slowing down networks with massive signature updates. 

Controlling the Ability of End-Users to Conduct Application Installation or Execution

Whether they're laptops, smartphones, external hard drives, or even IoT sensors, all work devices must be protected from cyberattacks. The threat landscape is constantly changing, and companies must prioritize securing endpoints.

To prevent attacks, network managers must use multiple security tools. For example, traditional antivirus and antimalware solutions use pattern matching or signatures to identify and block known threats. On the other hand, advanced behavior-based systems apply heuristics and other advanced techniques to monitor network activity for suspicious behaviors. Another important step is to limit end-users ability to install and execute applications that present a threat. For instance, you should only allow whitelisted applications to be downloaded and run on devices that meet minimum criteria for protection. You can do this by identifying applications by their publisher or by using a cryptographic file hash. You can also establish least privilege access policies based on these identifiers.

Encrypting Every Hard Drive on Your Network that Has Data at Rest

Many companies have a wide range of endpoint devices connected to their network. These include laptops, external hard drives, desktops, mobile devices and IoT sensors. These devices represent attack vectors that cybercriminals could exploit if they gain unauthorized access. To avoid this, organizations need to implement advanced security tools that protect endpoints at the device level. These security solutions can profile each endpoint and assess its core risks. They should also be able to detect and respond to advanced threats, such as zero-day vulnerabilities and ransomware. Encrypting all hard drives on an organization's network that have data at rest is one effective way to secure endpoints. Data at rest refers to any digital information stored on a network-connected device. Once a file is moved into an in-use state, such as by being loaded onto the photo viewer and email applications on Bob's smartphone, it becomes data in transit. Organizations should install security tools to automatically and transparently encrypt files in storage to prevent this.

Enforcing a Least Privilege Policy

A single privileged account can open the door for attackers to move laterally throughout the network, accessing sensitive data and systems. Using the principle of least privilege ensures that secret accounts have the minimum set of permissions to accomplish a task, significantly reducing your attack surface. This security best practice also helps prevent lateral movement by eliminating an attacker's leeway to escalate privileges. It also simplifies compliance/audits by reducing the identity risk to address. For example, a company can implement password policies to ensure credentials are not reused or shared between employees. It can also employ password management programs to restrict unauthorized applications from running on an endpoint. These programs can limit application execution based on factors such as the path, publisher or hash to protect against unauthorized activity. Another method to determine the impact of unauthorized users on your business is through network segmentation. However, this must be done carefully to maintain important internal connections. Maintaining an inventory of all devices on your networks and their relationships with each other is also crucial.

Using Encryption

An important part of a company's cybersecurity strategy is using encryption. By encrypting data, you can ensure that only the right people can access it and that no one else can read it, even if a device is stolen or lost. Cybercriminals target endpoints because they are doorways to a network's assets and critical information. The best way to prevent these attacks is by employing security solutions to identify vulnerabilities and alert you when a threat is found. Many employees use their devices for work, a practice known as bring your device (BYOD). These devices often contain sensitive company information and should be protected. The best way to do this is by implementing BYOD policies that require users to use secure channels to connect to the network. Other important protections include limiting access to company applications and enforcing a least privilege policy. These controls can prevent unauthorized users from installing executable code onto an endpoint. In addition, an antivirus solution can help detect and respond to threats.