According to Ponemon’s 2020 Study on the State of Endpoint Security Risk, the frequency of attacks against endpoints is increasing and detection is difficult. Worse is that the vast majority (80%) of successful endpoint breaches are zero-day attacks. That means that many of the threats organizations face are due to new, unresolved vulnerabilities. Here are the common challenges of endpoint security and the possible solutions.
There is no point in cybersecurity without strong endpoint security.
Endpoint devices are leeways to an organization’s network and the network security is no better than the level of protection of every endpoint.
However, there have been persistent areas in which many organizations struggle, especially relating to recent and emerging developments.
Here are the most common challenges of endpoint security and some solutions to help companies stay ahead of ever-threatening cyber attackers.
Internet of Things
The proliferation of IoT devices has multiplied cybersecurity risks for enterprises to staggering rates.
These devices are the main contributors to the rising problem of shadow IT as they increase the number of blind spots in the enterprise’s security system.
More so, IoT devices collect very sensitive data and in massive amounts; according to the International Data Corporation, connected IoT devices are expected to generate 79.4 zettabytes of data in 2025.
Mitigate risks arising from connected devices through network segmentation.
Isolate shadow IoT devices from the main network. In addition, the organization must create and maintain a strict policy regarding the use of IoT devices among workers. Isolating and the policy surrounding devices helps the IT department maintain visibility over all endpoints connected to the company network.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen a remarkable increase in business phishing attacks. The recent unprecedented hack of many verified accounts of prominent individuals on Twitter was due to spear-phishing attacks targeting Twitter employees.
Phishers use social engineering techniques to successfully trick their targets into giving out sensitive data. Employees must be trained to recognize the tiniest threat signals and report suspicious activities.
Cybersecurity awareness is important across all sectors, whether aviation or tech.
Cybersecurity awareness training for employees is not enough. Cyber attackers are getting more sophisticated, creating malware that is designed to evade security channels set up by IT departments.
How many more employees? To protect employees from phishing attacks, companies can use such technologies as a Secure Web Gateway, which inspects the inflow and outflow of data through office networks to block malicious content and prevent data loss.
Lack of Visibility
IT departments often have trouble monitoring the several endpoints of their company’s network. And without adequate visibility, the endpoints and agents in charge of them (employees) become prone to data loss.
Likewise, limited visibility affects the organization’s ability to detect suspicious activity; therefore, malware could dwell in the system for weeks or months, wreaking havoc while being under the radar.
Maintaining comprehensive visibility over endpoints is especially important in this era that an unprecedented number of companies are adopting work from home policies. When employees work remotely, it becomes a challenge to tell what they are up to or if they are accessing the corporate network securely.
Beyond traditional endpoint detection and response tools, enterprises have to upgrade to next-generation endpoint security solutions, which use AI, machine learning, and real-time analytics to manage the network endpoint visibility. This will help organizations combat threats of greater sophistication.
Cybersecurity Skills Shortage
According to Emsi, demand for cybersecurity talent in the US is more than twice greater than the available supply.
The skills shortage in cybersecurity has been a major concern for years, and the problem was exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19, particularly in light of surges in cyber-attacks at this period.
It is not enough that a company has the right tools; they must have the right people in charge of their endpoint security as well. Organizations must rethink their approach to closing their cybersecurity talent gap.
In its report, Emsi recommended a “build, don’t buy” strategy whereby organizations focus on strengthening and arming their present workforce against cybersecurity risks instead of trying to recruit scarce talent.
The build, don’t buy strategy is not necessarily about transforming your workers into IT professionals than it is about building a strong, cyber-aware workforce through continuous training.
In strengthening their endpoint security, businesses must put the future of cybersecurity into consideration. Not in terms of technology, but in terms of obstacles. Having a contingency plan helps a company to fill gaps and solve problems proactively, rather than reactively.
Of course, this requires the adoption of advanced tools that can help professionals gain insights into the organization’s security framework, assess risks, and neutralize threats.