An enterprise may have thousands or millions of endpoints connected to corporate networks, all with access to corporate data and resources. Enterprise endpoint security is the set of tools and practices that enable organizations to protect these systems against the wide range of threats that they face.
Endpoints are a primary target of attack for cybercriminals. The data that ransomware tries to encrypt or infostealers attempt to exfiltrate is stored on endpoints. Endpoints are also the systems that users – the target of phishing and credential stealing attacks – use to access corporate resources and data.
Enterprises have numerous endpoints, creating a broad attack surface for cyber threat actors to target. Enterprise endpoint security is essential to managing the risk posed by these endpoints and preventing attackers from gaining access to corporate endpoints and using them as a foothold to expand their access and target other enterprise systems.
Endpoint security is a critical component of a corporate cybersecurity strategy. However, companies face significant endpoint security challenges, and some of the most common include the following.
Enterprises commonly have several different types of endpoints, including PCs, servers, mobile devices. These devices may run a variety of operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android), and these OSes may be running different versions. Additionally, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and vendor relationships may allow unmanaged devices access to corporate networks and resources.
This complexity and lack of comprehensive control over endpoints create significant challenges for endpoint visibility and management. Security teams may struggle to achieve the visibility that they need to secure these devices, may lag behind in deploying security patches, and may not be able to enforce the use of secure configurations on devices. All of these challenges create security risks and potentially exploitable vulnerabilities.
To identify and remediate threats to an organization’s devices, security teams require visibility into these devices. As a result, endpoints and security solutions are configured to collect log and alert data to support incident detection and response.
However, as the number of corporate endpoints grows, so does the number of logs that security teams must screen for true threats and false positives. As log volumes grow, they can exceed security teams’ abilities to process them and cause alert fatigue. If security teams lack the ability to effectively monitor security logs, attacks may slip through the cracks.
Enterprises face a wide range of security threats. To do so, security teams deploy tools and security capabilities capable of eliminating or mitigating certain risks. However, when these risks are handled via an array of standalone point solutions, a corporate security architecture can rapidly become unwieldy and unusable.
This problem also exists in corporate endpoint security, where companies need the capabilities provided by an endpoint protection platform (EPP) and endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution. Deploying two separate tools to implement these functions force security personnel to manage multiple solutions and waste time context-switching between dashboards. This approach to endpoint security slows incident response and increases costs for the company due to the need to purchase and manage multiple solutions.
Companies are increasingly implementing BYOD policies, allowing employees to work from their preferred devices. These BYOD policies have their benefits, such as improving productivity by allowing employees to work from devices that they are familiar with and comfortable using.
However, BYOD also creates challenges for enterprise endpoint security. These devices are personally-owned, and an organization may have limited ability to monitor them and enforce the installation of security updates and software. As a result, devices with questionable security may have access to corporate networks, resources, and data.
Shadow IT refers to the practice of circumventing corporate rules and processes about the use of IT devices and networks. For example, an employee may attach an unauthorized wireless access point to the corporate network or use a personal cloud account to store corporate data.
Shadow IT complicates endpoint security because the corporate security team may lack full visibility and knowledge of an organization’s endpoints. Unauthorized wireless networks may have weak security, and unapproved devices connected to corporate networks may contain unpatched vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit for access.
The COVID-19 pandemic drove a surge in support for remote and hybrid workforces. Even after the pandemic, many companies allow employees to work at least part-time from outside the office.
However, remote devices may not enjoy the same protections as those connected to the corporate LAN and protected by its perimeter-based defenses. For example, a remote worker may connect to untrusted public networks or visit phishing pages that serve malware. If the organization lacks visibility into remote devices or their web traffic, it cannot protect these devices against attack.
Many endpoints in an enterprise environment are designed to allow users to access corporate resources and do their jobs. While these users need this access, they also are a major source of cybersecurity risk.
Cyberattacks, such as phishing attacks, target the user to install malware on a device. Users may also change configuration settings, disable security tools, and download unsafe files. All of these activities make it more difficult for an organization to secure its endpoints against cyber threats.
Enterprises face a wide range of endpoint security challenges. All of these factors increase the complexity of corporate security operations. To effectively secure a diverse set of corporate endpoints that include remote, BYOD, and unauthorized systems, companies need larger teams of highly-skilled security personnel. Attracting, training, and retaining the expertise required to secure the enterprise can be expensive.
Check Point Harmony Endpoint helps to manage the cost of effective enterprise security by addressing these challenges head-on. Harmony Endpoint consolidates EPP and EDRcapabilities into a single solution that provides integrated security visibility and management across all of an organization’s endpoints. Harmony Endpoint also integrates automated security posture management and advanced web protection capabilities — such as filtering malicious and phishing sites, blocking malicious downloads, and preventing credential compromise.
Learn more about how to overcome endpoint security challenges and build an effective enterprise endpoint security architecture in this buyer’s guide to endpoint security. Then, feel free to sign up for a free demo of Harmony Endpoint today to learn how to bring your organization’s endpoint security under better control.