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What is endpoint security and how to protect your company’s network?

Jul 14, 2020

Nowadays, employees often migrate between offices, work from home, or use their own devices, thus expanding the company's network security perimeter. All the devices employees use, including computers, phones, and tablets, are called “endpoints”, and their usage brings additional challenges for businesses. Let’s take a closer look at endpoint security and how to protect your organization.

What is endpoint security?

Endpoint security encompasses tools and measures to protect networks, servers, and databases, focusing on endpoint devices as the most vulnerable link in the entire organization. It is centrally administered, therefore a company can remotely install cybersecurity software, track logs, and monitor threats on those devices.

And the bigger the organization, the more challenging it becomes.

Why is endpoint security important?

Meet Jim. He uses the company's laptop for daily work and frequently checks his email on his phone when away from the office. Now, imagine that Jim’s computer has been stolen, he accidentally downloaded malware or connected to an unsecure Wi-Fi. His credentials could be exposed and used to extract confidential information about the company.

It is estimated that on average a data breach in the US costs $8.91 million, with healthcare, financial services, and energy being among the most costly industries.

Cybersecurity solutions are especially important in organizations with thousands of connected IoT devices. Let’s say, a company specializes in installing smart electricity meters in private houses. The engineer uses an app to collect data and monitor the meters, gets alerts if something goes wrong, and sends commands. If a hacker was to get access to his phone, all private data could be exposed.

5 ways to improve your business endpoint protection

Spread awareness

One of the key factors in enhancing your company’s cybersecurity is educating employees. People come from very different backgrounds and their knowledge about cyber hygiene practices can be limited. They have to understand the importance of two-factor authentication, strong passwords, and safe browsing.

Encrypt your files

Whether you keep your sensitive information in the cloud or on your hard drive, always encrypt it with specialized software, such as NordLocker. It’s an easy-to-use app that encrypts your files and allows you to securely share them with co-workers. You don’t need to send any passwords, as every user can access the so-called locker with their own password. Financial records, customer data, legal documents — all of those can be protected and organized with just a few clicks.

Use anti-malware software

While new devices are designed with built-in security features, they’re not enough to protect large organizations that have a lot to lose. Malware, phishing, and ransomware are among the top threats an employee might face while performing his tasks. Anti-malware software monitors the health of every system, sends alerts, and helps to get rid of any unwanted programs.

Manage users

Employees should only have access to resources they need for their daily tasks. It is also important to keep an eye on their digital behavior and keep logs in case of cyber incidents. If Kelcy from the sales department has access to a cloud storage where legal documents are kept, she most likely has too many administrative rights, and this might pose a risk to the whole company.

Update your system

Developers update software to fix bugs, add new features, and get rid of known vulnerabilities. Even though it’s tempting to postpone updates, it’s one of the worst habits you can develop. Hackers always search for weak points to get inside a network, and regular updates slam the door in their faces.

Ultimately, everyone in the company carries responsibility for endpoint security, and it can be guaranteed only when all the parties know their roles.

Elisa Armstrong

Elisa Armstrong

Verified author

Elisa’s all about languages. She speaks five, loves stand-up comedy, and is writing her first novel. Besides her extensive knowledge of cybersecurity, she’s an expert in persuasion techniques hackers use and strives to teach people how to avoid online scams.