What steps should go into your endpoint security strategy?

What is Endpoint Security

Planning is crucial for almost everything we do in our lives. The same applies for enterprise endpoint protection as well. Only a sound endpoint security strategy can lead to effective protection of your enterprise endpoints. Without such a sound strategy in place, your enterprise protection will only be in an abysmal state irrespective of how efficient the endpoint protection tool your enterprise is employing might be.

Therefore now the question is: what should be a part of the endpoint security strategy of every enterprise in order to ensure every endpoint stays secure against various evolving security threats? In this page, we contemplate this question and try to provide some answers.

1. Multiple Layers of Security: Endpoint security is not just about securing a single PC. It’s about securing an entire enterprise’s network. Therefore your endpoint security package should contain many security tools covering several aspects of network security like Device Firewalls, Internet Security, email specific tools, intrusion detection tools and so on. Only have such a group of security tools can protect enterprise networks effectively.

2. Every Device Should be Covered: Enterprise networks typically contain different types of devices which in turn may contain different OS(es) and other different software. Now you should devise your endpoint security strategy such that all these differences are addressed successfully. Simply put, come up a plan which gives equal importance to every device that exists in the market currently.

3. Data Protection: Although endpoint security does cover data protection as well, it’s worth considering this topic separately. How are you going to encrypt your data? What are you going to do to prevent data loss? What policies are you going to adopt for data access governance? How are you going to segregate your data? You should address all these questions while planning your endpoint security strategy.

4. Incident Detection/Response: Obviously your endpoint security tools are going to detect a lot of network related issues (incidents). This will include false positives as well. There’ll be so much information in hand that you’ll be flooded with them. Therefore it’s imperative to decide how are you going to handle this information. In other words, how are you going to respond to them? You should predecide these things while drafting your endpoint security strategy.

5. Incident Remediation: Detection is one thing and remediation is another. Predefine the steps your enterprise is going to take for different scenarios like simple security breach, a total network breach etc., and record them in your endpoint security strategy. Because trying to come up with solutions on the go when you’re confronted with the issue is not going to be easy.

6. User Security Awareness: Endpoint security strategy should also contain how enterprises are going to train – or educate – their employees regarding the various security measures they should be adopting in order to enhance the protection offered by the endpoint security tool they may be deploying. Because, at the end of the day, it all comes down to how users behave – because a single irresponsible act could compromise your entire network.

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9 Factors to Consider While Selecting an Endpoint Security Tool

Endpoint Security Tool

Selecting one among the many endpoint security tools out there in the market can be a tough task. But there are certain factors which when taken into account can ease this selection process for you. Factors which serve as ‘tell-tale’ signs that indicate whether the endpoint security tool is the right one for you or not.

Here we list some of these factors which can serve as a quick reference tool (a cheat sheet, to be more precise) for those of you who are in search of the right endpoint security tool.

1. Cloud-based or On-Premise? The first question to consider is whether you are going to go for cloud-based or on-premise endpoint security. Both have their benefits, and selecting one of the two depends upon the security policies you adopt and your IT infrastructure. With cloud-based security ensures flexibility and scalability, on-premise endpoint security tools help you satisfy stringent privacy requirements usually deployed by organizations in government and finance sector. It would be even better if you could find an endpoint security tool which is a mix of both worlds.

2. Prevention Capabilities: Prevention is the best defense when it comes to security threats of today. Therefore ensure your endpoint security tool comes equipped with the right mixture of prevention capabilities. When we talk about capabilities, we mean the next-gen security capabilities like blocking malware at the point of entry, advanced detection capabilities and other such benefits which go a long way in nipping the problem in the bud.

3. Sandboxing Capability: Sandboxing is a technique which allows enterprises run suspicious files in quarantined environments without affecting the network. You need sandboxing for static and dynamic analysis of unknown files. And never settle for third-party sandboxing products that must work alongside your endpoint security solutions. Sandboxing should be built-into, and should come fully integrated with, your endpoint security solution.

4. 24/7 Monitoring and Recording: The basic objective of your endpoint security solution is to manage all your endpoints. This means monitoring and recording the activities within your network 24/7. Therefore ensure the endpoint security solution you pick has efficient monitoring capabilities.

5. Quick Detection Time: Your endpoint solution has to detect network issues and detect them quickly. Time is of the essence when it comes to endpoint security and therefore ensure your endpoint security solution is capable of detecting network issues quickly.

6. Easy and Understandable Interface: Though endpoint security solutions are usually handled by network administrators with considerable technical expertise, it is always prudent to select endpoint security solutions with an easily understandable user interface. Because only if there’s clarity in the user interface, will there be clarity in the way the network would be managed.

7. Automation Capabilities? How does endpoint security respond to security threats? Does it contain an automation system which can take care of false positives? Because there’ll be a lot of false alarms when it comes to network security. You simply cannot avoid them. But, on the other hand, automation capabilities can help you tackle them efficiently.

8. Agentless Detection: Agentless detection can come in handy in the case of file-less malware detection and devices which may not support agent installation. Moreover, installing an agent in every endpoint within your network is a complex and expensive task. Therefore agentless endpoint security solutions are one way of countering these issues.

9. Does It Integrate Well Into Your Security Architecture? Remember endpoint protection or security is a part of your entire security architecture. Therefore if your endpoint protection tool functions separately and does not fit well into your security architecture, then there will be issues. Both network surveillance and infrastructure related. So always pick an endpoint protection tool which integrates well into your infrastructure.

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The Basic Endpoint Security Software

Network Security Work

Every day is witnessing a security attack of one kind or the other. Although it is true that hackers are deploying sophisticated attacks which easily beat even the highly technically-equipped security systems of today, the fact that many enterprises fail in getting the basics right when it comes to network protection is something which cannot be totally ignored. In fact, if you are a frequent follower of security threat related incidents, you’ll realize that almost 70% of the victims of today are the ones who’d probably failed to get the basics right.

One important (and inseparable) aspect of network protection is endpoint security. Simply put, the boundaries of your network are strong enough so that they stay secure against various security threats of today. So what are the endpoints? Why is it important? Let’s take a look at the answers to some of these questions.

What are Endpoints?

Just as a line has two endpoints (or ends), enterprise networks have several, with a centralized server for managing the entire network’s data placed right in the middle of it. Endpoints within the network can be a desktop, laptop, tablet or even a smartphone. Any device with can connect and access the information available within the network is an endpoint. It could well be a server like mentioned earlier.

Why is Endpoint Security Important?

Each endpoint serves as an entry point into the network. Therefore if hackers choose to hack your network, they are probably going to target these endpoints (or entry points). Because compromising even a single endpoint device can give them access to your entire network. Therefore securing these endpoints is a must for various enterprises.

Endpoint protection or security is a part of the bigger picture that is Information Security. Back in the 80s and 90s, not much importance was associated with endpoint protection. But since the 2000s which brought along with it the Wi-Fi and laptops changed the security landscape dramatically. And it is during this period that gained popularity among various enterprises.

How Does Endpoint Security Offer Protection?

As you can realize, it not only offers protection to networks but also to endpoints themselves. To give a simple example, they can offer protection to endpoints and the networks to which they are connecting to by establishing what is known as VPN connections which protect the data being transferred between them from hacking. Apart from this, network administrators can impose various security policies for keeping their networks and the endpoints clean. (Security policies usually decide how an endpoint can behave within a network).

Next-Gen Endpoint Security Solutions Offer Real-Time Analysis

Real-time analysis (or 24/7 monitoring) is extremely crucial for endpoint protection. Only if enterprises can efficiently monitor or analyze their endpoints, will they recognize any abnormal activity. This and many other such security provisions only come with the next-gen endpoint security tools. Therefore it’s best for enterprises to always opt for next-gen solutions when it comes to securing their networks.

To Summarize:

Endpoints are easy targets for hackers and therefore need protection
Endpoints can be laptops, desktops, servers, tablets or other such mobile devices
It is a part of the bigger picture that is Infomation Security
It gained importance since the introduction of Wi-Fi
Always go for next-gen endpoint security tools for protecting your networks

Basic Endpoint Security Software

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Endpoint Security Software for Business

malware removal software

Endpoint Security For Your Business

We live in an age where every other day is witnessing a security attack of one kind or the other. Although these security threats are also various, all of them have one factor in common: all of them seek an associate degree entry purpose to interrupt into the network. These entry points can be at intervals or outside of the network. However, more typically than not, the attackers target those that square measure outside – remote devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc., – as a result they’re a lot easier to interrupt. These entry points are called endpoints. Because they are present at the far end of the network.

Why Endpoints Are Much Preferred Targets For Hackers?

Since corporate decided to relax their network policies and allowed employees to access the corporate information outside of the network using various remote devices, these devices have potentially become the ‘weakest points’ of the network. Because if these devices fall into the wrong hands (hackers), it will open up access to the entire network. Or at least to some elements within that network. Therefore these endpoints are potential ‘entry points’, which when not protected well-enough, can pave way for easy hacking.

Another reason why these endpoints are considered the weakest points within the network is because of the human factor involved. These endpoints are operated by humans and it is easier to trick them and thereby gain access to the network (example: phishing attacks) than trying to break into some other part of the network which may be machine-controlled.

So How Can You Protect Your Corporate’s Endpoints?

The answer is endpoint security software. As the name suggests, deploying this software within your network will ensure your network is secured against various endpoints of your network; at the same time, ensuring the security of the endpoints themselves. It does so by creating stringent network policies, establishing secure connections between the endpoints and your network, vetting endpoints before they gain access to the network and so on.

3 Significant Ways In Which Endpoint Security Software Helps E-Businesses

1. Early Detection of Security Threats

Endpoints are often the starting points of hacking. Therefore if you protect your endpoints well-enough, then the chances of hackers hacking into your network reduces greatly. And even if they do successfully break these endpoints, the constant monitoring capabilities will help businesses ensure the problem is nipped in the bud without spreading to the entire network.

2. They Reduce False Positives

Attackers often try to appear legitimate to the various security systems. To do so, they leverage endpoints and gather intelligence about the targeted organization. Learning company operations and employee behavior helps them better ingrain themselves into a system without appearing too conspicuous since they are posing as legitimate users.

Hackers also know users often commit mistakes and don’t always follow normal patterns; therefore, they sometimes replicate this employee behavior as well. Because of this reason, many security solutions produce irrelevant notifications, that do not necessarily indicate hacker activity and instead overwhelm security experts.For example, a failed login attempt may seem suspicious at first glance, but in reality might be a busy employee. Because endpoint data can expose whether there was keyboard or mouse activity at the time of the failed login, security personnel can easily decipher between a benign mistake and hacker activity.

To differentiate the real user from hackers in case of such circumstances, you need endpoint security software.

3. They Provide The Bigger Picture

Since endpoint security software is installed on every machine of your network, they’ll provide the bigger picture of your IT environment. They’ll provide enough information using which you can easily gauge the health of your network and also any suspicious activity which would otherwise go unnoticed. Therefore you can achieve great levels of network transparency – which is probably the need of the hour considering it’s raining security threats these days – using endpoint security software.

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What is next-gen endpoint protection?

next-gen endpoint protection
What is next-gen endpoint protection

Understanding Next-Gen Endpoint Protection (NGEP)

The words ‘Next-Gen Endpoint Protection (NGEP)’ which presumably offers Next-Gen Threat Prevention have been bandied about a lot. Despite this, it remains a conundrum. So in this article, we try best to explain what next-gen endpoint protection is (as simply as possible), how it differs from traditional endpoint protection, and how it can be useful in combating modern-day malware and the ever-changing cybersecurity threat landscape.

What Exactly Is Next-Gen Endpoint Protection?

There was a time when endpoint protection meant installing antivirus for protecting networks. This was a time when viruses where the only security threats for computers. The static antivirus having a store of antivirus signatures was enough to safeguard networks. But now the situation has changed drastically, with the modern-day malware (of which virus is just a type) adopting sophisticated techniques that call for equally sophisticated security measures. One such security measure is next-gen endpoint protection.

Simply put, next-gen endpoint protection does not rely only on a store of antivirus signatures or signature-based technology to combat malware. It is much more than that. It is supposed to be a system of security tools which keep learning about malware (various techniques and vectors they implement) and can counter them in real-time rather than waiting for the malware to inflict damage.

What Do They Contain?

This is pretty vague at the moment as the technology is only evolving. So giving a concrete answer is definitely not possible. But there are certain technologies which have become integral to almost all NGEP(s) currently available in the market. They are: Pre-execution analysis based on machine learning, Centralized event collection and analysis, Exploit prevention or mitigation, Detection based on behavior analysis, Ransomware behavior detection and blocking, Sandbox analysis, Rollback of changes after event detection, Retrospective detection etc.,

Difference Between Legacy and New-Gen Endpoint Protection?

Apart from the fact that NEGP is designed towards combating Next Gen Threat Prevention (modern-day malware), there isn’t much. Because there’s no such thing as legacy or traditional endpoint protection now. The reason? Almost every legacy endpoint protection is being enhanced to meet today’s security requirements and therefore even these contain some (if not all) technologies included in NEGP solutions.

Final Thoughts

It may be a few years before the security community could provide a clear-cut definition of what exactly is next-gen endpoint protection and the security tools they contain. But till then enterprises like you could use endpoint protection tools like Comodo’s Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) which is one of the finest in the industry and is probably the only security tool which comes closer to being called next-gen endpoint protection tool (Or, perhaps, maybe is one? You be the decider).

nextgen endpoint protection

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8 Essentials Features of Endpoint Device Security Tools

New Endpoint Protection

Endpoint device security is critical for enterprises to stay secure against various security threats. They are undoubtedly way better than antivirus packages when it comes to network security. [Antivirus packages are only suitable for securing a PC or a number of PC(s), but not the entire network]. One of the reasons why endpoint security is crucial for network protection is that they can prevent not only the known but the unknown as well.

This capability makes them a very reliable network security tool without which an enterprise’s IT information security would be incomplete. But implementing an endpoint device security tool is easier said than done. Because there are a number of endpoint security tools available in the market. Some effective, others not so. So how to find out which ones are effective and which ones are not?

Here a simple solution: Check for the 8 essentials listed in this page which every endpoint device security tool should contain for it to effectively safeguard your networks.

Endpoint Security Tools Should Block The Unknown: Selecting an endpoint security tool which cannot block unknown security threats is as good as trying to protect your network using only an antivirus software. Endpoint security tools specialize in handling unknown threats. Therefore while considering an endpoint security tool, always check out whether it has the capability to handle unknown threats.

Endpoint Security Tools Should Not Impact User Productivity: Sometimes these security tools may, because of the stringent security policies they impose, hinder the user productivity. These are the sort of tools you should avoid at all costs. Always go for endpoint security tools which can increase user productivity by allowing them to use mobile and cloud-based technologies without any fear of being affected by unknown security threats.

They Should Turn Threat Intelligence Into Prevention Automatically: Endpoint security tools that you select should be capable of converting the threat intelligence they gather into prevention automatically without the need for any additional plugins to accomplish the same. Tools which can do this can go a long way in safeguarding your networks efficiently.

They Should Protect All Applications: Enterprises use a number of applications. Only if these function effectively, will the enterprise productivity increase. Unfortunately, most of these applications can contain security vulnerabilities which attackers can exploit. Therefore it is important to ensure the endpoint security tool you select can protect all the applications you may be using.

Endpoint Protection Tools Should Protect Legacy Systems As Well: Legacy systems often pose a huge problem for enterprises. This is one of the main reasons several enterprises choose not to patch their systems properly because their legacy systems may not support such a change. Therefore while selecting these network security tools, you should always ensure that the one you select supports legacy systems as well. Because what you may be using today might as well become a legacy system tomorrow. If such a situation arises, you need an endpoint security system which supports such legacy systems.

Endpoint Protection Tools Should Be Enterprise-Ready: When we say enterprise-ready, we mean your security solution should be “scalable, flexible and manageable enough” to be deployed in an enterprise environment. They must be scalable to handle increasing endpoints, flexible when it comes to security policies and easily manageable by your security experts. Only such a security solution can offer good security to your network.

They Should Meet The Industry Compliance Requirements: There are many regulatory bodies which govern enterprise security. And it is the job of enterprises to comply with them. Any digression would result in liabilities. Selecting an endpoint protection tool which is industry-complaint can be a great way of falling in line with these regulatory bodies.

They Should’ve Received Recognition From Various Research Firms: It is important what others are saying about the endpoint protection tool you wish to use. Ensure they’ve received recognition from various reputable firms. This is probably one of the easiest ways of narrowing down on the right endpoint security tool. Because more often than not a security tool will receive recognition only if it is doing well in the market.

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5 Ways To Measure Your Endpoint Solutions Effectiveness

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Endpoint Solutions Effectiveness

With a sharp increase in the usage of mobile devices, enterprises can no longer afford to operate without endpoint security solutions for safeguarding their networks. But the biggest dilemma when it comes to endpoint security solutions is how do enterprises find out whether these security tools are indeed serving their purpose? That their networks have become more secure than they were previously?

Finding out how these security tools are performing can indeed be difficult, chiefly because when it comes to endpoint security, enterprises are usually bombarded with so much network-related information that they can start feeling overwhelmed and therefore decide not to evaluate them at all. But this would be a serious mistake.

Therefore in this page, we present to you 5 questions using which you can measure the effectiveness of your endpoint security solution; questions the answers to which can let you know whether your endpoint security tool is indeed effective or whether it’s time you opted for a change.

Does It Do What You Expect Out Of It? This might seem like a silly piece of advice. But like mentioned earlier, it’s quite easy for enterprises to get lost amongst the sea of information that is usually generated by endpoint security tools and lose track of what you need from it in the first place.

Therefore ask your security experts whether these security tools are keeping your network safe from hacking. If so, probe further and find out how they are doing so. By being proactive? Through extensive reporting? By employing stringent security policies? And so on. Because the more you find out about your security tools, the more you’ll realize how efficient – or inefficient – they are.

Is Persistence A Key Feature? The hacking community has probably thought of a billion ways in which it can attack enterprise networks. So is your endpoint security tool strong enough to handle all of them? Moreover, when it comes to endpoint security, it’s more about surviving than emerging a winner.

Therefore ask your security experts to analyze the persistence level of your endpoint protection tool. How do these tools tackle serious security threats? Do they try to get to the root of the security issue or do they just focus on prevention? Are they programmed to reset themselves after a major security attack? These questions will indicate how persistent your endpoint protection tool is. The more persistent they are, the better for you.

Does It Affect User Productivity? Stringent security policies can make enterprise users feel constricted. We live in an age where employees like to work from any location and if your endpoint protection tool is not able to offer this, it can affect your enterprise productivity greatly.

Therefore ask your security experts whether they rely on stringent security policies. Or on easy going ones? Speak to your employees and get their opinion as well. The information you get from both your security experts and employees will help you frame better security policies which can protect your enterprise without affecting your employee productivity.

 Is It Flexible? Enterprises expand over time. So do the applications, systems and various other systems they may be employing. Some of them might even become outdated. Now the question is whether the endpoint protection tool that you are employing is equipped or flexible enough to handle such changes.

Talk with your security experts and find out if your endpoint protection tool can handle such growth and changes efficiently. If not, it’s time you opted for a change.

Is It Security Compliant? Meeting industry security requirements is also a key component of endpoint protection. Because if you don’t and your enterprise’s security is breached in the future, you’ll be confronted with hefty lawsuits that will not only affect your reputation but also can prove heavy in your pockets.

Therefore ensure your security experts become well-versed with the various regulatory bodies associated with your business. Moreover, you can also consult with your legal team as well. Because they’ll be knowing more about various cyber-laws. Conducting such research will help you confirm how far your endpoint protection tool complies with the existing cyber-laws. And obviously, the more they do, the better for you. If not, it’s time for a change.

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What is File Integrity Monitoring (FIM)?

What is File Monitoring?

IT environments in any organizations see a phase of change always. The state of configuration changes. Software applications programs change. Design states change. Some of these adjustments are approved seeing that they happen amid a security-fix cycle; some reason worry by their sudden nature.

Organizations generally react to such dynamism by putting resources into secure configuration management and asset discovery. These foundational controls enable organizations to track their devices and screen those items’ setups. All things considered, organizations are left with an critical concern: accommodating change in essential documents.

Considering this challenge, organizations opt to choose File Integrity Monitoring

What is File Monitoring?

The File Integrity Monitoring is otherwise termed as change Monitoring, – it is a foundational control system that helps to investigate and validate files for the users to understand if there exists any change and how did the change happen and by whom did the change happen. It also helps the users to understand on how to restore the change happen, if it is found illegitimate.

File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) is an internal process that plays out the demonstration of approving the integrity of operating system and application software files using a validation technique between the present document state and a known, whitelist. The validation technique helps to manipulate known cryptographic checksum to perform calculation with the known calculated checksum of current state of the file.

Accordingly, FIM is helpful for identifying malware and in addition ensures consistent compliance with directions like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

There are five stages for file integrity monitoring. These are as per the following:

Setting a strategy: FIM starts when an organization characterizes an applicable approach. This progression includes distinguishing which documents on which PCs the organization needs to screen.

Setting up a pattern for documents: Before they can effectively oversee files for changes, companies require a reference against which they can recognize adjustments. Organizations should, along these lines, report a standard, or a known decent state for files that will fall under their FIM arrangement. This standard should consider the version, creation date, change date, and other information that can enable IT experts to assure that the file is true blue.

Checking changes: With a detailed reference points, companies can continue to oversee all assigned files for changes. They can increase their observing procedures via auto-advancing expected changes, along these lines limiting false positives.

Sending a Caution: If their file respectability checking arrangement recognizes an unapproved change, those in charge of the procedure ought to convey an alarm to the significant faculty who can settle the issue.

Results of Reporting: Sometimes organizations utilizing FIM for assuring PCI DSS compliance. In that occasion, associations may need to produce reports for reviews keeping in mind the end goal to substantiate the organization of their file monitoring assessor.

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