As more employees bring their personal mobiles and laptops to work, and connect these devices to the corporate network, endpoint security is becoming more common as an IT security function.
Endpoint security refers to the method of protecting the corporate network when accessed via remote devices, such as laptops or other wireless and mobile devices. Each device connected to the corporate network creates a potential entry point for security threats. Endpoint security is designed to secure each endpoint on the network created by these devices.
“Typically, endpoint security is a system comprising of security software, located on a centrally managed server or gateway within the network,” says Kelly Clapham, General Manager – Managed Security Services at Loop Secure.
“This is coupled with client software being installed on each device accessing the corporate network. This combination is designed to help companies maintain greater control over all access points, and help block threats and access attempts effectively.”
While this might sound similar to having a firewall or antivirus software on your home computer, the difference for a company is that security tools on the endpoints are managed centrally by corporate IT.
The Australian workforce is becoming more mobile and distributed, and as threats evolve, so too must endpoint security. Here are the five trends in endpoint security taking shape.
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI)
As threats become more prevalent, keeping pace is difficult for any human. This is where machine learning and AI can help, by taking care of the more routine endpoint security requirements, such as monitoring traffic and threats. The most concerning threats can then be brought to human attention.
- Outsourced endpoint security
In the past, endpoint security was managed in-house by a company’s security team. Now, as cloud and SaaS-based service providers such as AWS continue to provide platforms to manage day-to-day IT operations, endpoint security management can also be offered as a service.
According to Clapham, “outsourcing this responsibility to third parties reduces a company’s costs and the need to hire internal experts.”
These SaaS services also incorporate machine learning into their solution, ensuring companies are at the cutting edge when threats present themselves.
- Fileless attacks
Increasingly, security incidents now feature fileless attacks, where there is no longer a need for malware to be dropped on a system in order to work. Rather, attackers use tools already installed on computers and devices, or run scripts and shellcode already contained in the devices memory. Since the exploits run in memory rather than residing on a hard disk, they’re incredibly difficult to detect using traditional anti-malware tools.
As a result, they are growing at an alarming rate, requiring endpoint security vendors to combine machine learning with a layered defence approach to increase the likelihood that attacks will be detected and blocked.
- Better protection for IOT devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, such as sensors and cameras, enabling them to send and receive data.
Billions of these inter-connected ‘things’ are running basic operating systems, and an increasing number of endpoint management vendors are now developing purpose-built security software for these IoT devices to better manage threats and give them the protection they need in the event of an attack.
- Reducing endpoint security offerings
Endpoint security has been complex, with a wide array of tools available to target specific attacks and endpoint vulnerabilities.
However, market offerings have evolved to become simpler. Endpoint security management companies are now consolidating their offerings into a single solution suite, making it easier for companies to understand and manage.
As more employees connect their mobile devices and home laptops to their company network, the importance of endpoint security will continue to increase.
Clapham says that all endpoint devices should meet your company’s security standard.
“This allows you to exercise greater control over the growing number of access points connecting to your corporate network.”
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