At the recent Syxsense Synergy event, cybersecurity experts delved into the ever-changing challenges facing endpoint security management. With the increasing sophistication of cloud technology, advances in the Internet of Things, and the emergence of massive amounts of remote work, the cybersecurity landscape has become more intricate than ever.
These experts shed light on the pressing issues that have emerged in this area. According to a survey conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), it was found that the average user now owns about seven devices for personal and office use.
Additionally, the ESG survey revealed a clear link between the number of security and endpoint management tools employed within an organization and the frequency of breaches experienced. Of the organizations surveyed, 6 percent use fewer than five tools, while 27 percent use between five and 10 tools. 33 percent employ between 11 and 15 tools, while the remainder employ more than 15 tools to manage their endpoint security.
Understand the concept of endpoints and why their security is important in remote work?
Endpoints here include a variety of physical devices that establish a connection to a computer network and facilitate the transfer of information. These devices are wide-ranging and this includes mobile devices, desktop computers, virtual machines, embedded devices and servers.
In addition, these endpoints extend to Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as cameras, lighting systems, refrigerators, security systems, smart speakers, and thermostats. When a device is establishing a network connection, the transfer of information between the device (e.g., a laptop) and the network can link a conversation between two people over the phone.
Endpoints are an attractive target for cybercriminals because of their vulnerability and their importance as gateways to corporate data. Protecting endpoints has become increasingly challenging as employee workplaces have become very decentralized. Small businesses are also particularly vulnerable because they can serve as entry points for criminals targeting larger organizations, which often lack strong cybersecurity defenses.
Data breaches are financially devastating to organizations, with an average cost of $4.24 million globally and $9.05 million in the United States. An additional average cost of $1.05 million is incurred by breaches related to remote working. Most breach costs are attributable to lost business, including lost customers, lost revenue due to system downtime, and the cost of rebuilding reputation and acquiring new customers.
As the workforce becomes more mobile, organizations are exposed to a range of endpoint security risks. These common threats include:
Phishing: a form of social engineering attack that manipulates individuals to divulge sensitive information.
Ransomware: malware that encrypts a victim's data and demands a ransom release.
Lost devices: leading to data breaches and potential regulatory penalties, lost or stolen devices pose a significant risk to organizations.
Outdated patches: Failure to apply software updates in a timely manner leaves systems vulnerable to attack and can be exploited by malicious attackers.
Malware advertising (malvertising): online advertisements are used as a medium to spread malware and compromise systems.
Automated downloads: Software is automatically downloaded onto devices without the user's knowledge or consent.
According to Ashley Leonard, Founder and CEO of Syxsense, the primary reason behind the growing number of issues related to endpoint security is the lack of systematic security training. If people aren't properly trained on their endpoints and security tools, you're going to find devices and systems that are misconfigured, not properly maintained, and not deploying critical patches.