Why Is Endpoint Security Important? Rethinking Endpoint Protection In 2022

Laptops, desktops, mobile devices, routers, servers… For cybercriminals, these and other endpoint devices are, and always have been, a major target. From Acer to Harris Federation to CNA Financial, some of the biggest cyberattacks in recent history exploited weaknesses in endpoint security, often with disastrous consequences for those affected. 

Defenders today seem to be well aware of endpoint security risks. A 2021 survey conducted by the cybersecurity magazine Dark Reading found that most security pros think that the origin of any attack can be traced to the endpoint. Yet even though 5% said their new endpoint protection strategy is “radical,” a far larger percentage of organisations do not appear to be prioritising endpoint security at all. Only 1 in 4 respondents to the same survey said their company has recently made important improvements to their endpoint security approach. 

With cyber-attacks showing no signs of slowing down, neglecting endpoint security is not only dangerous but possibly fatal. Any organisation that wants to prevent threat actors from hijacking business systems or stealing sensitive data needs a reliable endpoint security solution. A next-generation security solution that combines powerful endpoint security with advanced machine learning and AI analysis, SenseOn’s automated threat detection, investigation, and response platform can help companies stop endpoint attacks both on and off enterprise networks—all without burdening IT teams. 

Endpoint Security Risks Are on an Upward Trajectory

Threat actors have always had their eye on endpoints. For instance, in a 2020 Ponemon Institute survey, 68% of respondents said their company fell victim to an endpoint attack that compromised their IT infrastructure or data assets. Remarkably, since then, things seem to have gotten even worse. 

The growing popularity of remote work (and, consequently, remote devices), BYOD (bring your own device) policies, and IoT has meant that the number of endpoints at a typical business has exploded in the last few years. In a 2021 Endpoint Risk Report by Absolute Software, three in four IT security decision-makers said their company’s use of endpoint devices increased since the start of the pandemic. 

The result? An expanded attack surface and an increasing number of potential entry points for malicious actors. Attackers are clearly seizing the opportunity vulnerable endpoints are providing them with: there was more malware and ransomware targeting endpoints in the first three quarters of 2021 than in all of 2020. Security breaches are a big problem.

Security Is Still Lacking

Scarily, attackers may not have to try all that hard to compromise endpoints. In the UK, one-third of all endpoints to corporate IT networks don’t have a security agent installed. And those that do have varying levels of protection. More than two-thirds of UK organisations admit they can’t be sure that every endpoint is protected equally, and a similar number don’t know if every endpoint is secure against the same threats. 

At the same time, the vast majority of organisations admit they are struggling to catch threats before attacks escalate. With more risk coming from endpoint-focused cybersecurity threats like phishing, many are looking to replace their existing endpoint security software, which might include antivirus software and endpoint protection platform (EPP), with a next-generation endpoint security solution. 

Currently, the biggest issues companies have with their existing endpoint security systems include poor protection against advanced threats and too many false positives and security alerts. 

Beware: More May Be Too Much in Endpoint Security

While attacks on endpoints are rising, security teams should be careful not to overload their endpoints with too many security solutions. 

Deploying a variety of protection solutions onto a single endpoint can actually increase the risk of a cyber attack. As a result, the more security controls an endpoint has, the weaker the entire network is likely to become, whether because of increased complexity or too much noise, i.e., false alarms. Threat actors often exploit vulnerabilities in tools that are either not regularly updated or are not configured securely. 

Unfortunately, defenders don’t seem to have gotten the memo. The Absolute Software report mentioned above shows that 83% of devices have two or more endpoint management tools installed, and 11% have two or more identity and access management tools installed. Even more worryingly, 1 in 4 devices in the report has unhealthy security controls, including critical protections. 

Endpoint Security Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

At SenseOn, we don’t look at endpoint security as a process that sits by itself within a firm’s security posture. We know that endpoints, even seemingly inconsequential ones like your most junior staff member’s work device, are potential gateways for attackers. 

The reason why is that lateral movement and privilege escalation, two core tactics used by hackers today, give attackers a way to pivot attacks from endpoint to endpoint and eventually onto business-critical servers. As a result, “small” endpoint breaches can quickly turn into big threats. 

With more than a quarter of defenders lamenting that their endpoint security tools fail to give them visibility into their overall security posture and “alert fatigue” a growing problem, detecting lateral movement is a challenge. Lack of endpoint detection and response capabilities (another issue SOC teams face today) doesn’t help either. 

We created SenseOn as a single tool for overcoming these common endpoint security problems. 

By unifying data from across your digital estate (endpoint devices on and off the corporate network as well as your network, cloud infrastructure, and microservices), SenseOn gives you unparalleled, real-time visibility into all that is happening within your infrastructure. It does so using what we call “Universal Sensor,” a low-impact software that companies can install on any device, server, database, or cloud environment.

However, SenseOn isn’t just designed to detect potential threats at endpoints and alert defenders. Using multiple detection methods and proprietary threat triangulation technology that mimics how human analysts think, SenseOn automates endpoint threat investigation and eliminates the burden of false positives. For critical and time-sensitive threats like ransomware, SenseOn’s automation capabilities can remediate threats and prevent costly data breaches without human input. Cost-effective, easy-to-deploy, and simple to operate, SenseOn proves that endpoint security is achievable. 

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