What Is Endpoint Security?

By Sybil Andrea
Apr 30, 2020
10 min read

Endpoint security is a comprehensive strategy for protecting corporate networks and combating digital threats. One unsecured endpoint could give criminals access to sensitive data, internal messaging systems, and much more. So what are endpoint security solutions, and how can you implement them?

What are endpoints?

Endpoints are the physical devices that connect to the private systems of a business. If a smartphone or a laptop has access to a company’s databases and communication platforms, that’s an endpoint. These are the outermost walls of a network; they must be protected.

Whether it’s a tablet connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi or a computer infected with malware, one compromised device could threaten the entire company. 

What is endpoint security?

When we talk about endpoint protection, we’re referring to methods of preventing hacks and data breaches. It's a strategy that covers many different aspects. For example, it may focus on protecting connected hardware and ensuring that employees don't expose themselves to unnecessary risks.

An endpoint security solution isn’t one action, but rather a collection of different approaches and practices. These combined elements can enhance the security of your network as a whole.

Why is endpoint protection important?

Every year, corporations can face hundreds of attempted cyberattacks. It's not just the growing tenacity of hackers that needs to be addressed, however. Two particular trends are making it harder to maintain tight security: the spread of BYOB practices and the massive spike in remote work worldwide.

BYOB means Bring Your Own Device. Rather than issuing new hardware to all their employees, many companies now rely on people using personal devices for work. This means that endpoints are often used for personal browsing and online activities that may be risky.

Remote working almost feels normal now. Coronavirus has changed the world in a plethora of ways, and remote work is one effect that might extend beyond the immediate crisis. Employees now use potentially vulnerable Wi-Fi connections outside of the office. Home routers and public hotspots - cafes or public transport, for example - are prime targets for hackers. This makes the risk of an endpoint breach even more likely.

Endpoint security: the two-pronged strategy

An effective endpoint security solution should contain two key elements - two prongs of a single overarching defense:

  • Remote application control

  • Encryption

Remote application control is the practice of installing networked devices with software for tracking and limiting user actions. App control usually relies on a central platform from which employee hardware can be managed.

Encryption means encoding and hiding a device’s browsing activity. If your remote employee has encrypted their phone or laptop with a VPN, hackers will be less likely to see what they’re doing online or seize sensitive data.

4 steps for building your endpoint security strategy

Implementing an endpoint security system in your company is a great way to improve network safety. Here are four simple steps for enacting an effective endpoint security strategy.

1. Encryption 

Ensure that employees use a VPN to encrypt their data. Installing NordVPN Teams on all endpoint devices will limit the threat of Wi-Fi breaches. With this service, company-wide implementation has never been easier. NordVPN Teams also comes with a range of other benefits, giving users secure access to company resources wherever they are.

2. Remote application control

You'll find a wide range of application control software on the market, so find one that’s right for you. This program should allow you to track and limit the activity of your endpoint users. This could involve blocking high-risk websites or limiting downloads to avoid malware infection.

3. Antivirus software

It’s an old staple of any cybersecurity strategy, but encouraging all employees to download antivirus software is a must. Although it’s not a complete solution in itself, antivirus protection works well as part of a larger plan. This is a simple way to increase endpoint protection and fortify the frontline of your network.

4. Encourage best practice 

The people best situated to maintain the security of a network’s endpoints are the users themselves. It’s essential that you foster habits of best practice throughout your workforce, and especially among remote employees. Keep your team up to date with security protocols and encourage them to take sensible precautions when using their own devices for work.

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