What is Endpoint Protection and How it works together in layers?

Business IT infrastructures have changed due to the shift to remote and flexible modes of work, which has caused corporate endpoints to leave the network environment and, thus, its internal defenses. Organizations need endpoint security solutions to detect and mitigate threats before they impact the business, as endpoints are now their first line of defense against cyberattacks. Endpoints are a significant source of cyber risk for businesses and their first line of protection against online dangers. To understand how endpoint security works in layers, we must first know what endpoint protection is. 

What is Endpoint Protection?

An endpoint is any remote computer or device that communicates with a network it is connected to regularly, so this could be something like a laptop, tablet, or even smartphone. So, endpoint security is protecting these devices from cyberattacks and threats.

Secure Your Organisation from Cyberattacks with Crowdstrike EDR

To figure out how to protect Endpoint systems, we need to identify the threats an endpoint system faces. Some of the more common threats faced by an endpoint system are as follows:
  • Data loss and theft
  • Malware and Ransomware
  • Unpatched vulnerabilities and outdated OS and software 
  • Phishing and spam mails
So, to ensure that endpoint systems are well protected, we need:

1. Attacks and Threat Protection

This system protects the endpoint against malware, ransomware, and viruses. Traditional Antivirus methodologies or signature-based antiviruses are no longer effective as malware these days is very intelligent and can easily bypass them. We need to use Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities to improve our defense against malware. These EDR systems can identify and stop suspicious files from running by looking into their behavior and the processes that suspicious files started.  One example of an EDR solution with similar capabilities is CrowdStrike Falcon partnered with Ace Cloud Hosting, a cloud-based EDR solution provider with AI and ML capabilities that will automatically block malicious software from being executed. On top of that, CrowdStrike also allows us to look into the whole processes run from the system to weed out any more hidden processes or malware.

2. Network Protection

We need to ensure that the endpoint system stays secure even when it goes out of the corporate or enterprise network. To achieve this, we can use Next-gen Firewalls, which, unlike traditional firewalls, have more features like Integrated intrusion prevention and detection system, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Sandbox Integration, etc.   An example of a Next-Gen Firewall is Zscaler, which has all the features of a traditional firewall combined with modern features like sandboxing, Cloud application visibility and control, and Data loss prevention – visibility & alerting. All these features can be harnessed to protect the endpoint system from network-related threats.  

3. Application Protection 

We need to set controls so the user doesn’t install blocked or unwanted applications that could potentially decrease security and increase the attack surface for threat actors. We also must ensure that the applications allowed are continuously updated and fully patched with the latest technologies.   To disable certain apps from being installed, we can set up AppLocker on the Windows system to disable users from installing other apps. We can use patch management tools like System Center Configuration Manager to ensure that all applications are updated. Related Post: EDR vs SIEM: Which Threat Detection Tools You Need

4. Data Protection 

Data security and protection are necessary for any endpoint security technology to be effective. It assists in avoiding the compromise of private information and business secrets due to errors, negligence, or other actions. For instance, some programs could offer safe password management, file activity monitoring, or other data controls that stop leaks and enhance data security. Other products might offer full-disk encryption or encrypt all online traffic.   For example, we can use VeraCrypt to encrypt the whole drive of an endpoint system so that even if a hacker could get the data, it would be useless as long as they could not get the encryption keys. Similarly, we can encrypt email messages as well.  

5. Centralized management

Deploying an endpoint security platform should be simple and rapid for IT staff. A centralized portal that enables functions like endpoint identification, over-the-air enrollment, default profiles, centralized patch management, support ticket creation, or the capability to distribute installation links to distant users should also allow them to control the endpoints. Additionally, administrators should be able to quickly look for and respond to potential threats or actual incidents.   We can implement a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution like Netsurion or a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) tool like CrowdStrike Falcon Complete, which provides managed threat hunting, endpoint detection and response, and support from a CrowdStrike team of professionals.  

6. Email Security  

Phishing is one of the main reasons why an endpoint system is often compromised. Email security solutions keep harmful emails from entering, propagating inside, or leaving your email network. Email security is a broad phrase that can apply to various technologies, software solutions, and frameworks meant to safeguard email networks.   Tools like Proofpoint can be implemented to protect users against phishing emails and other spam mails; Proofpoint also has additional features like Automatic email encryption, Per-user controls and quarantine access, Advanced protection against malicious URLs and attachments, etc.  

Bottom Line

Even with these tools and solutions in place, it is essential to train employees and conduct awareness sessions to keep them updated with the latest techniques and methods threat actors use to gain access and cause damage to an endpoint system.   To summarize, if we can deploy these tools and procedures, we can state that our endpoint systems are adequately protected and that we adhere to improved security policies and practices. ACE-managed EDR offers you an advanced solution combined with Endpoint Protection (EPP) that secures all your unmanaged endpoints and provides remediation plans to stay ahead of attacks.  To get started with the advanced threat intelligence platform, book a free security consultation today!

About Nolan Foster

With 20+ years of expertise in building cloud-native services and security solutions, Nolan Foster spearheads Public Cloud and Managed Security Services at Ace Cloud Hosting. He is well versed in the dynamic trends of cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Foster offers expert consultations for empowering cloud infrastructure with customized solutions and comprehensive managed security.

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