Employees who access company data on a regular basis are in a privileged position. They are privy to business data and can potentially misuse it accidentally or for their own ends. Cyber threats are extremely commonplace and the potential of an attack or data leak is not as rare as you may think.
Endpoint security should be a major priority of any company. It helps to protect your devices and data from cyber-threats, malware, and viruses, and also allows you to manage access to your devices remotely.
This makes it all the more important to keep these connections under wraps. Employees need to follow strict endpoint security best practices to keep themselves and their company safe.
What is endpoint security?
Endpoint security is the process of protecting a computer or network from external threats by using policies and technologies within a computer’s operating system, application, and network. This can be a challenge for organisations of all sizes and industries; it is an issue that is often overlooked.
The business of today is reliant on the computer network. Technology has advanced so much in recent years that it is now critical to protect an organisation’s technology assets against threats.
A computer or network sitting behind the business’ firewall is at rise of a wide range of threats that can include malware, cybercriminals, disgruntled employees, and even physical damage.
Endpoint risks and vulnerabilities
The risks associated with endpoint devices are increasing as they become more connected and sophisticated.
The risks are not just limited to data breaches and stolen information. There is also a risk of losing access to critical business services. This can lead to significant financial losses for companies.
Endpoint vulnerabilities can lead to data breaches and other serious consequences for companies, which could result in significant monetary loss, reputational damage, and legal ramifications.
Common endpoint risks:
- Human error
- Data loss or corruption
- Unauthorised access to network resources
5 endpoint security best practices
Implement strong password use
Passwords are a critical way for employees to access their work computers. If you don’t enforce strong passwords, you’re leaving yourself open to a huge security risk. In fact, the majority of computer security incidents are caused by weak passwords.
Employees should be encouraged to choose strong passwords that are both unique and can’t be easily guessed. A good strategy is to use the following guidelines when creating passwords:
- Use a different password for every account and password management tool
- Create passwords that are at least 12 characters in length
- Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols
Limit access and device privileges
With the growth of mobile devices, and the increasing number of connected devices employees use, it is important for companies to limit access and device privileges to ensure no crossover of data occurs either accidentally or maliciously between personal and professional apps and accounts.
For an employee to access data that is protected by a password, they must first prove their identity by providing the password in a secure manner.
Enable multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a method of verifying a user’s identity in which they provide only one piece of information, but they must also prove their identity with an additional factor.
For example, an employee who enters their password to access their email will also be required to input a one-time code sent to their phone via text message before being granted access. This combination of factors makes it much harder for someone to impersonate the user.
MFA is a critical tool for minimising the risk of data breaches. It can also help prevent phishing attacks by verifying that the email account being accessed is being accessed from the device accessing the account. This way, even if a cybercriminal has a user’s login credentials, they lack the additional factor to access the account.
Windows Hello for Business is a good product to use; it uses MFA as a requirement for users to get into your endpoints.
Employ a zero-trust approach
The key to end-user security is preventing sensitive data from being accessed by unauthorised devices. Once a device has access to data, it can be used in many ways. To keep your data and systems protected, it’s important to follow a zero-trust security approach.
Zero trust is an approach to information security that assumes all users and devices are untrustworthy and must be monitored at all times. It means every user has access only with permission, and with a clear audit trail for every action taken on a system.
Zero-trust provides a safe environment for endpoints by restricting access to only those who need it, and also giving them limited permissions. It also helps to improve the efficiency of endpoint protection by reducing the number of false positives in detection and prevention.
Educate your users
Employees who have access to data need to know how to protect that data, but it’s important to keep in mind that employees are often not security experts. If a user does not understand what they are doing, they are more likely to make mistakes that might put their company at risk.
Educating your users on endpoint security is a good way to protect your company from cyber-attacks. It also helps them understand how they can protect themselves and their devices as well as follow best practices in security.
Implement endpoint security to secure your private data
Companies that want to protect their data from employee misuse need to implement stringent policies for their employees to follow. They can implement strong password policies, limit access to sensitive data, and enable multi-factor authentication on all devices that access sensitive data.
The cybersecurity specialists at RODIN can help you develop an endpoint security policy customised to your business needs, as well as monitor and manage your endpoints for maximised cybersecurity.