Is your endpoint security strategy up to par?

September 28, 20184 minute read

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If you’re quietly freaking out about endpoint security, you’re not alone. According to recent research from the Ponemon Institute, three out of four organizations had difficulty managing their endpoint security risk in 2017. Locking down endpoints can feel maddeningly similar to a game of Whac-a-Mole if you don’t have the right strategy and tools to help you comprehensively address the threat.

Luckily, there are four simple questions you can ask to determine if your endpoint protection is up to par. With a few smart steps now, you can make sure your business is prepared to quickly identify and respond to any attacks that show up at the endpoint.

1. Does your solution cover all the bases?

The last thing any IT decision-maker needs is a hodgepodge of security tools that take on different aspects of the endpoint security problem but doesn’t play well together, preventing you from implementing a cohesive, unified strategy.

Does your solution have prevention, detection, and response capabilities all under one roof? Many of the tools available on the market today do. Chances are, you can find one that takes care of most of your needs right out of the gate. As CSO Online reports, “87 percent of organizations have purchased or are planning to purchase a comprehensive endpoint security suite that contains both advanced prevention and EDR.” Make sure your endpoint protection covers all the bases—not just some of them.

2. Is every endpoint protected?

An endpoint security solution’s mission is to protect as many endpoints as possible; otherwise, it’s not really doing its job. Hackers know they can usually hit pay dirt by attacking the weakest link, and if a malicious actor manages to compromise just one unprotected endpoint, you could end up having an epically bad day at the office.

That’s why you need to know whether or not your solution has agentless detection capabilities that can secure legacy systems, funky IoT devices, or other things that may fly under the radar, like print security. New malware types, some of which creep in through browser injections and fileless exploits, have IT pros abandoning old-school endpoint protection and updating their defenses. If the tool you’re using can’t see these new threats—let alone prevent them from executing—it’s just a matter of time before a hacker comes knocking at an endpoint.

3. Does your solution integrate with other security systems?

If your endpoint protection solution doesn’t integrate with the other network security systems you have in place, it’s not going to be able to flag any threats that appear throughout the rest of your security architecture. As a result, those exploits could proceed unnoticed and undeterred, moving laterally throughout your network and opening the door for hackers to make off with business data.

The best cybersecurity defense is a multilayered approach that challenges bad actors at every turn, preventing them from gaining further access into your systems after they’ve compromised a single vulnerability. If the tools securing your endpoints aren’t feeding this crucial intelligence into the rest of your network security solutions, it’s much harder to put a multilayered defense strategy into practice—and you’ll miss out on achieving the full return on your security investment.

4. Does your tool automate IT management?

As an IT pro, you only have so many hours in the day to make a dent in an insanely long to-do list. When time and resources are at a premium, you want the tools you have in place to actually streamline your IT management responsibilities instead of complicating them by throwing out indecipherable alerts or false positives that send you down a rabbit hole.

Any tool you use to secure your endpoints should automatically respond to and remediate events in progress, helping you get a jump on an emerging issue before it becomes a full-blown incident. Self-healing printers can already do this by automatically rebooting and notifying IT if they’ve been compromised. Make sure any endpoint protection tool you bring aboard takes a similar approach, augmenting your team’s capabilities rather than straining them.

Endpoint protection is a growing challenge, and IT pros have to assess if their current strategy fits the bill or needs some tweaking. By answering these four questions, you can identify the gaps in your approach to endpoint protection and take action to shore up any weak links in short order, building a better system that allows your team to quickly mobilize and respond once a threat emerges. That way, you can rest easier knowing your business is prepared for any devious exploits a hacker may unleash on your endpoints.

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