The digital workplace of the future isn’t stationary – it’s mobile. Due to this shift, there’s a good chance you’re reading this on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. When we all worked in an office every day, protecting data and devices was simpler, since it was relatively easy to enforce security policies within a closed corporate network. Today, the common practice of granting access to an organization’s intellectual property and confidential information from remote locations has created potential security gaps.
Any network-connected device is a potential security threat, and that’s why endpoint protection is a must. This policy-based approach to network security requires endpoint devices to comply with specific criteria prior to accessing the network. When a client attempts access, user credentials are validated and the device is scanned to ensure that it complies with defined corporate security policies. Non-compliant devices will have limited access to the network. Here are a few strategies for strengthening endpoint protection:
Improve Security Awareness
Endpoint security begins with employee awareness. Clicking a malicious link, transferring sensitive files to a destination beyond your network, or giving unauthorized users access to devices can expose your organization in seconds. Employees must learn how to accept security updates, avoid risky wireless networks, and identify dangerous app content.
Implement Device Policies
Your company should have a written and enforced device usage policy, with restrictions on the installation and running of applications. Network Access Control should be used to limit access to the corporate network.
Patching can eliminate up to 90% of vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, many devices are still at risk because patching is difficult. Patches often interrupt operations, and some mobile devices receive infrequent vendor updates. However, identifying devices needing critical patches will significantly reduce the risk of infection. Proper patch assessment identifies, prioritizes, and scans for critical threat-related patches, helping you eliminate network vulnerabilities.
Prevent Data Leakage
The popularity of many cloud-based services has increased the number of recent accidental or intentional data leakage incidents. To protect sensitive company data, you must be aware of its content. If the endpoint device transmits data through cloud applications, USB sticks, or email, you should closely monitor this data to ensure that the content doesn’t violate your policies.
Endpoint filtering keeps network devices safe from infection by identifying suspicious domains and blocking malicious traffic. Prohibiting certain types of attachments, such as those with exe extensions, prevents malware from spreading. Content filtering is also an important component of data leakage prevention, since it decreases the likelihood of important information being transmitted to outsiders.
Practically all businesses have now gone digital, making them prime targets for cyber-criminals. Unfortunately, as an organization extends its network, the attack surface also increases. If you need help securing your network, contact us at 910-378-3868.