Aug 17, 2020
There is research that suggests 81 percent of organizations have some sort of a bring your own device policy. For good reason. Further research suggests that having a bring your own device policy in place saves on average $350 per employee per year. Other research supports the savings value of a BYOD policy, specifically the savings for employees, who gain 58 minutes per day by using personal devices for work, a productivity increase of 34 percent.
There's more data. Suffice to say, employee access to a corporate network with personal devices is valuable for everyone involved and is becoming more prominent in the workplace.
However, there's more to consider.
Not to be a buzz-kill, but more freedom introduces more security risks, inviting threats to exploit and abuse access to sensitive data. Every touchpoint within a network of access points provides the possibility of gaining entry and exposure to critical data that affects the safety of internal and external stakeholders and opening the need for a network vulnerability assessment.
Protecting those access points is crucial, and controlling how people interact with and within networks is key to what's known as endpoint security.
What is Endpoint Security?
What is endpoint security? Every device that accesses a network or cloud is an endpoint. These endpoints could be a desktop sitting in a warehouse, a laptop in a human resource employee's backpack, the unattended smart phone on a desk, or that old tablet that's sitting in a designer's drawer.
Whatever it is, the point remains: it has access to entry points.
Those entry points are the gateway to data that should be available only to a privileged few. The thing is, trustworthy people are still capable of error, they're still capable of being targeted, and they're still capable of being exploited. Bad actors are bad actors. Cybersecurity is growing more sophisticated by the hour to respond to those threats.
Endpoint security is the means of protecting the devices that have access to files and data that could otherwise be used or exploited by a malicious threat.
Anti-virus is part of endpoint security, but it's not the only part of endpoint security. Many organizations will differ in their approach because the needs of their network or cloud system will vary.
"Usually, endpoint security is a security system that consists of security software, located on a centrally managed and accessible server or gateway within the network, in addition to client software being installed on each of the endpoints (or devices). The server authenticates logins from the endpoints and also updates the device software when needed.
"While endpoint security software differs by vendor, you can expect most software offerings to provide antivirus, antispyware, firewall and also a host intrusion prevention system (HIPS)," according to webopedia.
What's the Value of Endpoint Security?
It's a way to protect people. First, consider that.
Data relates back to people. It's raw information that impacts how we perceive, feel, or act within the ever-growing, digitally augmented world. It's often personally identifiable. It's often tied to lives and reputations and finances and everything in between.
Endpoint protection is crucial to cybersecurity.
"First of all, in today’s business world, data is often the most valuable asset a company has—and to lose that data, or access to that data, could put the entire business at risk of insolvency … Hackers are always coming up with new ways to gain access, steal information or manipulate employees into giving out sensitive information. Add in the opportunity cost of reallocating resources from business goals to addressing threats, the reputational cost of a large-scale breach, and the actual financial cost of compliance violations, and it’s easy to see why endpoint protection platforms have become regarded as must-haves in terms of securing modern enterprises," according to McAfee.
Who Benefits From Endpoint Security?
Your users, customers, and clients. Your employees. The health of your business. Your ability to sleep at night. It's important to anyone who operates in a network of sensitive data with multiple stakeholders accessing information that's crucial to the health of the business and the consumer.
Cybersecurity doesn't have to be construed as limitations or complications of existing workflows. It's a means of ensuring our work environment's systems will still be there tomorrow, without tamper, exploitation, or damage.
Companies and/or individuals should safeguard data and workflows on individual devices to ensure that the tools they use, and those who benefit from them, are not harmed in any way.
When considering endpoint security services, on thing is clear... you can't afford to leave your endpoints vulnerable.