What is endpoint security?

By Sybil Andrea
Apr 30, 2020
5 min read
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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 malware or an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot, one compromised device could immobilize an 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 enterprise network as a whole.

Why is endpoint protection important?

Every year, corporations face hundreds of attempted cyber attacks. It's not just the growing tenacity of hackers that needs to be addressed, however. With the rise of remote work and BYOD practices, businesses are struggling to maintain tight network security levels. 

BYOD—or Bring Your Own Device—has extended the modern workplace beyond the traditional enterprise perimeter. Rather than issuing new hardware to all their employees, many companies now rely on people using personal devices for work. Endpoints are often used for personal browsing and online activities, which opens your network to a range of external cybersecurity threats.

Remote work is also becoming more of a standard than an exception. In the internet age, it makes sense to decentralize your workforce. As a consequence, many employees now use potentially vulnerable Wi-Fi connections outside of the office.

Home routers and public hotspots—cafés or public transport, for example—are prime targets for hackers. This makes the risk of an endpoint breach even more likely. In today’s digital landscape, your employees are your perimeter.

Endpoint security: the two-pronged strategy

An effective endpoint security solution should contain two key elements:

  • 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 is a means of encoding and shielding all online traffic from unauthorized access. If you encrypt all employee devices with a secure VPN, hackers are less likely to see their online activity 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 and resilience. Here are four simple steps you can take to bolster your defence.

Step 1—Encourage best practices 

It’s easy to forget that the biggest cybersecurity threat lies within your company’s walls. 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 organization, and especially among remote employees. Brief your team on security protocols and encourage them to be cautious when using their own devices for work.

Step 2—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 and ensure your data isn’t exposed externally. With this network as a 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.

Step 3—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 infections.

Step 4—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.

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