Did you know that 67% of employees use their personal devices for work activities? BYOD (bring your own device) policies have opened the gates for unprotected endpoints handling sensitive company information.
First, what’s an endpoint? An endpoint is a remote computing device that communicates back and forth with the network it’s connected to. The most common examples of endpoints include: laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, servers, and internet-of-things (IoT) devices.
Endpoint protection helps businesses keep critical systems, intellectual property, customer data, employees, and guests safe from ransomware, phishing, malware, and other cyberattacks. Cybercriminals of course view endpoints as vulnerabilities for them to exploit. In 2022, There are more hybrid and remote opportunities than ever which means more endpoints, and thus more endpoint security threats.
Has your business moved to a remote or hybrid workforce? If so, cybersecurity should be at the top of your priority list. Fortunately, Computers Nationwide offers Managed IT and cybersecurity to keep cyber criminals out so you can stay focused on your business!
Most common endpoint security threats:
Why is endpoint security necessary for my SMB? Let’s begin by discussing the most common endpoint security threats and vulnerabilities…
- Malware: Malware encompasses any malicious code created to infiltrate a private network. Malware often consists of an embedded software or code that enters a network to extract important business data. Cyber criminals can use malware to corrupt data, steal login credentials, or hold valuable information hostage.
- Ransomware: Ransomware is a form of malware that utilizes encryption to hold a victim’s information for ransom. Ransomware locks the user’s critical data, databases, and applications behind an encryption key and isn’t released until the victim meets the demands of the cybercriminal. It is designed to spread rapidly which can quickly cripple an entire organization.
- IoT Devices: The Internet-of-things, or IoT for short, refers to a rapidly growing network of connected objects that are able to communicate in real time across an embedded network. Examples include: smart thermostats, lights, refrigerators, washing machines, and most smart appliances. It’s 2022 which means your dishwasher can send a tweet, but that also means it can be hacked. Despite all its conveniences, IoT can play into the hands of cyber criminals by increasing your organization’s vulnerabilities.
- Phishing: Phishing is a method of cyber criminality that makes use of deception to gain login credentials and access sensitive information. It’s also the most common endpoint security threat. Phishing scams are usually initiated via email links that range from painfully obvious to well-coordinated and planned out attacks.
- Remote Devices: The spread of COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many organizations shifting to work-from-home policies and management of healthcare of workers. Remote-based connections pave the way for intrusions, providing a path for exploiting your business systems, then your network and then your entire organization.
Eye Opening Endpoint Security Stats
Between the COVID-19 pandemic drastically shifting the landscape of the workforce to remote/hybrid solutions, and ever-growing modern technological advancements, there has never been a more important time to implement complete and comprehensive endpoint security. Here are a few statistics further illustrating that endpoint security is an absolute necessity for every business in 2022 and beyond…
- 53% of organizations were hit by a successful ransomware attack in 2021, and around 77% of those were hit more than once.
- 68% of organizations were victims of endpoint attacks in 2019.
- Email accounts for 94% of malware delivery methods – web-based attacks account for 23% of cases, while Office documents were used in 45% of cases.
- 91% of cyberattacks start with a phish, the top reasons people are duped by phishing emails are curiosity (13.7%), fear (13.4%), and urgency (13.2%), followed by reward/recognition, social, entertainment, and opportunity.
- Almost 15% of organizations are not using any endpoint security solution.
- The FBI recently reported that the number of complaints about cyberattacks to their Cyber Division is up to as many as 4,000 a day. That represents a 400% increase from what they were seeing pre-coronavirus.
The Different Methods of Endpoint Security
Has your SMB decided to make endpoint security a top priority this year? Wondering what your security options are? The best approach to successful endpoint security is a holistic one. There are many different tools for securing endpoints at your organization. Work with the cybersecurity experts at Computers Nationwide to figure out which suite of features fits your workplace best…
- URL Filtering: The goal of URL filtering is to restrict users from visiting unauthorized websites and applications. URL filtering systems compare URLs that have been entered to a search engine with an allow or deny list created by your IT administrators. It can also keep employees away from websites that are unproductive. Though it’s effective, URL filtering can be bypassed by way of virtual private networks (VPN).
- Network Access Control (NAC): Think of Network Access Control as a gate that protects unauthorized access to your business. Network Access Control (NAC) blocks any unauthorized entrance within your businesses’ private network. Only devices that completely comply with your data policies are allowed access. The larger your network, the more endpoints you’ll have. The more endpoints you have, the greater your need for strong Network Access Control. One of the benefits of NAC is the ability to isolate any malicious devices. This helps curb the spread of malware and helps you find the immediate cause of any security breaches.
- Endpoint Protection Platform: An Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) is a centralized and integrated endpoint security protocol. The platform is centralized, which means it’s designed specifically to take care of your cyber security issues on its own, giving your business the freedom to focus on its core business operation and scale up.
- Insider Threat Monitoring: It is important to monitor and safeguard against cyber security threats that come from within your organization. Whether there is malicious intent or not, there is a risk that your employee can share privileged information with cyber criminals if they aren’t careful. Implement thorough training and monitoring systems to keep this from happening. With Managed IT through Computers Nationwide, we can train your employees with best practices for securing sensitive information. We can also install threat monitoring software so you can stay on top of incoming security threats.
- Sandboxing: When your business has a new product or application it needs to run, it’s a great idea to test the program within an isolated environment. Sandboxing is a proactive approach to detecting any potential cyber security risks before a product or application goes live
- Endpoint Encryption: Endpoint encryption is the process of scrambling data. Anyone without the decryption key can’t open it. Important data files are encoded or encrypted to limit their access within the designated network. Encryption acts as the final barrier safeguarding your information, if a cyber-attack takes place.
- Secure Email Gateways: Emails are generally a fundamental part of the way businesses communicate with each other and internally on a day-to-day basis. Email phishing is the most common form of malware, so it’s important to have a system in place that blocks access to emails that contain potentially harmful content or ransomware.
Benefits of Endpoint Security
When your SMB’s endpoints are secure, you are protecting your employees, customers, bottom line, and your reputation! Who wants to do business with your company if you can’t guarantee that their sensitive information is safe in your hands? Next, let’s discuss how investing in endpoint security can help your business reach new heights…
- Single, central endpoint security management: Traditionally, IT security has been approached with siloed point solutions. This means security is handled individually depending on the endpoints of an organization. This can leave sizable gaps in endpoint security. The modern way to neutralize endpoint security threats is to establish a centralized endpoint management system that works from various angles and makes security gaps much easier to locate and address.
- Simplify security management: When your endpoint security is centralized and has high visibility it reduces the amount of administrative overhead. The manual management and auditing tasks that might backlog your organization are streamlined, giving you more time to handle higher value business operations .
- Improve business resilience: As we discussed in the statistics, chances are your business will face some sort of security breach. Every comprehensive endpoint security strategy will include contingency plans on what to do in the event of an endpoint security breach. Your system should be able to quickly identify threats before they happen, establish backups in the event of data loss or corruption, and recovery options in the event of a crisis.
- Protect your reputation – and your revenue: It’s no secret that data breaches are costly for businesses. The average total cost of a ransomware breach is $4.62 million, slightly higher than the average data breach of $4.24 million. But that large number pales in comparison to the damage a breach can do to your organization’s reputation. It’s suggested that 60% of companies fail within six months of a data breach. In addition, estimates put the average share value wiped out by a data breach at 7% or over. The confidence that effective endpoint security software can deliver can be measured in both bottom line and reputational value.
Managed IT and Cybersecurity from Computers Nationwide
Computers Nationwide offers a wide variety of cyber security services to keep organizations of all sizes safe and secure. Check out a few of the features that come with our Managed IT services. We also can conduct a free IT risk assessment (seen below) to measure your current security posture!
Networking Monitoring and Alerting
Powerful capabilities alert you to potential issues – and help prevent or resolve them quickly. Our network monitoring tool supports over 500 applications and devices: from PCs and laptops to smartphones and network infrastructure.
Review, approve and automate deployment of security patches for Microsoft and other third party software to help ensure our customers are safe and secure.
Premium Remote Control
Remotely manage devices and support users by connecting to their Windows devices to resolve issues, transfer files, chat with the user and perform administrative tasks.
With the shift in the workforce from largely on-site to remote and hybrid workspaces there are more endpoints than ever before. Employees might have a work laptop they use at home on top of their office equipment. The emergence of IoT devices further increases the amount of endpoints at risk.
As cyber attacks become more advanced, so do the consequences. There’s too much at stake to leave this up to chance. Take cyber security seriously this year and protect your business. Safeguard your reputation and make sure your workplace doesn’t become a statistic! Computers Nationwide is proud to serve the IT and security needs of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin businesses.
Be proactive by partnering with Computers Nationwide…
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