7 Tips for Securing Your Endpoints

Keeping your network endpoints secure is critical to protecting corporate data, sensitive user data, and corporate intellectual property. 

A recent study revealed the number of data breaches are rising every year; over 1200 data breaches occurred in the US during 2021, a rise of 17% from the previous year.

With these grim figures in mind, it’s clear all businesses need to take greater precautions with their network endpoints security. 

What is endpoint security?

Endpoints are often connected to networks via a direct or wireless connection. These connections enable endpoints to transmit data, receive data and potentially act as a conduit for data breaches.

Endpoint security is the process of securing a device from unauthorized access and malicious software. It’s a critical component of IT security which helps protect organizations from targeted attacks and data breaches.

1. Use strong passwords

Strong passwords are the first line of defense against cyber-attacks, and remain the single most effective strategy for securing remote access. The most common security breaches occur due to employees using weak passwords that are either found in the memory of a device or on a remote access application. 

Ideally, end users should create strong passwords which are at least 12 characters long, include both letters and numbers and are unique to each application.

2. Endpoint monitoring

Ensuring devices and software are up-to-date is an important step to maintaining endpoint security. By regularly checking the software on your devices and the webpages where software is hosted, you can ensure the versions of software running on your devices are the most current, ensuring it is running at its full potential, fixing bugs, or installing new security patches.

Additionally, regularly scanning your devices for malware is another way to ensure endpoints are protected. Preventive maintenance, in addition to remedial actions such as a device’s software being updated or removed, are important steps to keep your endpoints secure.

3. Implement multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is a security process which requires the user to identify themselves using two or more different types of credentials. For example, a user will input their login details to access an account, and will then be prompted to input a one-time code sent via text message to their phone, before they are permitted access.

This additional factor makes it much more difficult for unauthorized persons to access accounts or devices for which they do not have permission.

4. Take a zero-trust approach

A zero-trust approach is a concept that assumes any device or user is untrustworthy until proven otherwise. This approach protects your network by assuming malicious activity is always present, and actively monitors endpoints for suspicious activities. Establishing a zero-trust approach and actively monitoring your environment will help you catch malicious activities as they occur, enabling you to react quickly and effectively.

By treating all endpoints as if they are potentially compromised, you can make certain changes such as regularly scanning your devices for malware, disabling unnecessary features, and disabling connections that are not required.

5. Install and patch antivirus software

Antivirus software is the most basic form of endpoint protection. It can detect and block malware, spyware and other types of malicious software before they can infect endpoints. 

However, in order to be effective, antivirus software must be updated frequently to account for new threats emerging on the scene. Outdated antivirus systems may miss known malware or may be unable to identify new threats. Always ensure your antivirus software is kept up-to-date to maximize your protection.

6. Enable network-based firewalls

A firewall is a security control that inspects inbound and outbound network traffic for malicious content. Network firewalls can be situated on individual endpoints, such as computers and servers, or they can be centralized. Furthermore, they can be software or hardware-based to provide varying levels of protection. 

For maximum cybersecurity, it is recommended that you implement network firewalls to protect against network-based attacks. This can be accomplished through software-based firewalls installed on your network. Depending on your situation and needs, you can choose a software or hardware-based solution. 

Alternatively, you can opt to have a managed service provider implement a network firewall for you. 

7. Outsource to a MSP

A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that offers full-service, outsourced IT management. This includes all aspects of your network security, such as implementing and monitoring security controls and responding to cyber threats, as well as performing ongoing security maintenance. 

By outsourcing your endpoint protection, you can ensure your endpoints are adequately protected by cybersecurity experts. Furthermore, an MSP can identify and mitigate against threats which may go unnoticed by your team. As keeping your networks secure is their full-time focus, their security professionals will always be on top of the latest cybersecurity technology and threat landscape.

Find the right endpoint security solutions

Cybersecurity is more important than ever, especially as attacks continue to grow more sophisticated. However, many businesses struggle to keep up with these rapidly changing circumstances. As a result, endpoint security is often neglected until it’s too late. 

The cybersecurity specialists at BCS365 can help you implement network solutions into your business to maximize your security, safeguard your endpoints, and manage your vulnerabilities.