According to a recent report from Minerva Labs, two-thirds of IT security professionals don’t think their existing endpoint protection tools would be enough to protect against a significant cyber attack. A further three-quarters said they felt that their existing malware protections were effective against about 70 percent of infections. And with ransomware outbreaks, data breaches, and other cyber security debacles becoming more and more common, your business could be at risk.
It’s one thing for a company the size of Target to suffer a data breach. They have the funds, the customer base, and the brand loyalty to recover from almost any attack. But if you’re a small business or a start-up in the midst of growth, one cyberattack could be enough to force you to close your doors. That’s bad news, because cyberattacks are growing more and more sophisticated – and your business needs to be ready. Know the common weaknesses in endpoint security, and what you can do to address them.
Are Your Endpoints Vulnerable?
Your business’s endpoint devices include all of the Internet-connected hardware devices on your network, such as:
- Desktop and laptop computers
- Security cameras
- Smart phones
- Point-of-sale (POS) terminals
One of the most common endpoint vulnerabilities, especially for startups and small businesses, is a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Implementing a BYOD policy might seem like an easy way to save the company money, since it eliminates the need to purchase smart phones, tablets, or laptops for your employees to use at work.
But it can backfire horribly, because it’s also a major security breach. When your employees use their own devices, they take them home and do who-knows-what with them on their off-hours. You don’t know what your employees are clicking on or downloading, who they’re corresponding with, or whether they’re taking appropriate security measures. You don’t know if someone else is using their devices to access your network. And you don’t know if possibly disgruntled former employees still have access to your network.
Of course, that’s not the only threat to your system. Your Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices are also vulnerable to attack, because many of them aren’t running security software at all, and may not even be receiving updates. Your security cameras, sensors, routers, smart TVs, and even robot vacuum could be providing hackers with access to your network. And these days, hackers don’t even need to send you a malicious file to access your network; fileless attacks use scripts running in your device’s memory, rather than malware files, to steal data and documents. New cyber threats are emerging so quickly that today’s cyber security pros are using artificial intelligence (AI) to keep up.
If you haven’t yet suffered an attack, you’ve been lucky, but that doesn’t mean you’re not at risk. A reliable tool for IT operations management can help you address the vulnerabilities in your network. For example, you need to make sure that the software you’re running is up-to-date; manufacturers release patches regularly to address weaknesses in the code that could allow new malware and viruses to attack users. The software updates process is a constant race between developers, who want to protect their users from malware, and hackers, who want to exploit software weaknesses.
Endpoint security solutions are increasingly using machine learning and AI to monitor activity and counteract threats more quickly than any human, or team of humans, could. That’s just one reason why it’s important to have a modern, up-to-date endpoint security solution for your business. If you want protection against fileless attacks, for instance – and you do – you need the layered protection that endpoint security solutions provide.
It’s no longer enough to just run a standard anti-malware program on your desktop or POS terminal, especially if you and your employees use tablets, phones, and other devices connected to your network. Look for a company that offers protection for all of your devices, even your IoT devices, in a consolidated suite, so that you’re not struggling to manage half-a-dozen different security tools installed on each machine.
Cyber attacks are growing more common and more sophisticated – and for a small business or startup, they could put the entire enterprise in jeopardy. Don’t risk it. Make sure you’re protected – so that your business can continue to thrive, free from interference by hackers.