Endpoint security is essential to businesses with employees who access the company network from more than one computer or device. If your employees have individual desktops, laptops, tablets, or phones that they use to access your network, each of those devices—known as “endpoints”—is a potential vulnerability that viruses and malware could use to enter your network. Depending on your business, other vulnerable endpoints might be point of sale terminals, online stores, printers, faxes, or similar smart devices; in short, any device connected to a network is an endpoint. The goal of endpoint security is to provide protection on each of those devices so that the network remains secure.
Why Is Endpoint Security Important For My Business?
The threats your business faces are growing rapidly in frequency and complexity. As the devices and software we use become more sophisticated, they also introduce new weaknesses that can be exploited. These weaknesses can be costly, with the fallout often destroying small businesses.
Another problem is that the way employees work is changing. As more businesses move to BYOD (bring your own device) and work from home policies, employees are taking devices with sensitive data out in the world. These devices can be lost, stolen, or forgotten, leaving data vulnerable. One purpose of endpoint security is to make sure devices remain secure regardless of whether they are in your possession or not.
The good news is that businesses don’t have to be victims. In 2018, a study by Ponemon revealed that two-thirds of companies who suffered data breaches could trace those breaches back to unsecured or poorly secured endpoints. Implementing stronger endpoint security can greatly reduce the likelihood your business will suffer a data breach, as well as reduce the severity of any data loss if you do suffer an attack.
What Kinds Of Cybersecurity Threats Does My Business Face? Are They Serious?
Data breaches are a growing threat. Studies show that 60% of companies go out of business within six months of a large data loss incident; 72% of those companies will close within 24 months of the incident. While all businesses suffer from data breaches, small and medium-sized businesses are particularly vulnerable because of how much it costs to pay any fines they might face, to provide restitution to customers, and to recover their reputation. A study by Ponemon reported that on average around 25,575 records were stolen in these breaches and each stolen record cost the company $150 on average.
Another threat that is becoming more common is distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These are threats where attackers prevent you and your customers from using your network. They might do this by using bots to create more traffic than your network can handle, or they might send requests to your site so quickly that the site gets overwhelmed trying to reply. There are many types of DDoS attacks, and the number of attacks is expected to reach 14.5 million by 2022. In fact, attacks of this type can account for up to 25% of a country’s total internet traffic.
Ransomware is yet another security concern for businesses today. This type of malicious software “steals” a network and holds it hostage until a ransom is paid. So far, 2020 has seen a 20% increase in this type of attack since the same time last year, and most experts predict the trend will continue to rise. The best-known ransomware attacks have been against state and local governments, but they have impacted colleges and universities, and school districts. However, many of these attacks are launched against small businesses as well. Many businesses are ill-equipped to handle this kind of attack.
These are just some of the cybersecurity threats your business faces. Unfortunately, new threats are constantly emerging. But regardless of the types of threats, the best way to guard against them is to understand that these threats are very real and to have a comprehensive security plan in place for all endpoints on your network.
Does Endpoint Security Mean I Have To Install Protection On Every Device Individually?
No! One of the great features of good endpoint security software is that it allows you to control the security on all company devices from one central location called a dashboard. From the dashboard, you can not only install software on all company devices, but also roll out updates, change company security protocols, set up filters, and customize your settings from one central location. Another bonus is that sometimes the price per installation for your antivirus software can often be cheaper if you use endpoint security than it would be if you bought individual licenses for each device.
How Does Endpoint Security Work?
System administrators for a network set up endpoint security for that network. This can include familiar processes like installing antivirus protection, firewalls, email filters, and web filters. These filters control what information is allowed into parts of the network, as well as what employees can access while connected to the network. Often they will block websites or emails from addresses known to be suspicious, and they may limit the ways and types of files that can be exchanged through the network. More advanced endpoint security can even incorporate real-time machine learning to monitor the network and adapt security based on the specific threats attacking it is facing.
Endpoint security is an important step in protecting your business, but it is just one part of an effective security plan. Other security features like two-factor authentication and zero trust architecture are equally important and work together with endpoint security to create layers of protection that each address different types of security threats. It is never wise to rely on only one type of protection for your network. The best defense against today’s cybersecurity threats is a good (and diverse) defense.
Did you know that the way your network is built affects how secure you can make it? Network architecture is the planning and building of a network based on factors like how the network is used, the projected growth of the company using the network, and (you guessed it!) the specific security requirements of the data being exchanged on the network. If your network is outdated or not meeting your needs, or if you’re concerned about the security of your network, reach out to TracSoft to learn how we can build a network that will grow with you and help keep your data safe.
Investing in a comprehensive security strategy is one of the most important decisions you can make for the wellbeing of your business. Trust the experts at TracSoft to help you build a security plan that can grow with your company. In business for over 20 years, our experience providing managed IT services and network security makes us the right team for the job. Contact us today to start building your plan now.