4 Endpoint Security Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Susan Sison on Dec 29, 2014 11:53:00 AM

 breach hackers

Thanks to changing threats and technology trends like the cloud, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and bring-your-own-device (BYOD), endpoint security is a lot more complex than it used to be. The result is that endpoint threats continue to wreak havoc on corporate networks.

A recent Ponemon study found that 60% of U.S. IT executives say endpoint risk has become more difficult to manage in the last 24 months. As many as 80% believe their mobile endpoints have been the target of malware in just the last year.

Add to that the fact that a third of all endpoints connecting to respondents’ networks are unsecured, and the problem is clear: Organizations aren’t keeping on top of endpoint threats. To avoid becoming the next headline, companies need to shore up their endpoint security and avoid making critical mistakes, starting with these four:

  1. Relying on antivirus alone: Many companies believe that applying signature-based protections like antivirus to endpoints will protect against all threats. But in today’s world, where sophisticated attackers are experts at deploying zero-day malware and disguising their payloads in common document macros and hyperlinks, simple signature detection isn’t enough. Real endpoint protection must include both signature and advanced behavior-based detection to ferret out both known and unknown threats.

  2. Failing to protect all endpoints: Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever. When endpoints can range from laptops and PCs to tablets and smartphones, and users can connect at different times from different places, ensuring security software is applied consistently and kept up to date is difficult at best. Organizations need to include all endpoints in their security strategies, no matter what they are or how they connect.

  3. Skimping on endpoint policies and training: We all know security is only as strong as its weakest link. When it comes to endpoint protections, that weakest link is often the end user. The same Ponemon survey found that 88% of all IT executives say negligent/careless employees who don’t follow security practices present their biggest challenge. Organizations need to create (and enforce) strong endpoint policies and ensure all users are trained in identifying common endpoint threats, like phishing emails and social engineering.

  4. Deploying ad hoc tools: Many organizations view endpoints as separate from the rest of their security architecture. They deploy point mobile, cloud or IoT solutions but fail to take into account how those all work with the rest of their security toolset. Over time, this can lead to complex, difficult-to-manage deployments that become awash in competing alerts and actually leave the network less secure.

Our partner Fortinet knows how challenging endpoint security can be. Its security fabric approach combines endpoint protections like AV, behavior-based sandbox detection and granular access control with advanced network and application protections, including next-generation firewalls (NGFW), email gateways, web application firewalls (WAF) and more.

Each tool communicates and collaborates with all others, sharing intelligence end-to-end and enabling centralized management from a single pane of glass. The design ensures all endpoints are protected, no matter where or how they connect.

A partner of Fortinet, NCA can help you leverage best-in-class cybersecurity technology to deliver top-notch protection across all your endpoints. Learn more.