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Does endpoint security matter?

by Andy Clutton

Protecting your business against cybercrime has never been more vital. 2021 saw 50% more cyberattacks per week on corporate networks compared to 2020 and more and more businesses are making cybersecurity a top priority. It’s becoming increasingly common to seek help from an expert cybersecurity consultancy firm. However, with the rise in remote working and the blurring between personal and business devices, compromised endpoints have become a major problem.

So what is an endpoint, and why do businesses need endpoint security? Here Anthony Green, CTO and cybersecurity expert at FoxTech explains:

“An endpoint is any computing device that communicates back and forth with a network that it’s connected to. A typical IT environment includes an in-office server, the use of cloud-based services like Office 365, and endpoints such as workstations, laptops, smartphones and printers. Many organisations focus their cybersecurity strategy on their servers and the cloud, often believing that, because this is where their data is stored, this is the area most in need of protection.

“Unfortunately, this strategy leaves you vulnerable to attack. 50% of all cyberattacks come from compromised endpoints, so when we are asked “Does endpoint security matter?” The answer is always, “yes”. A holistic cybersecurity strategy that secures all of your IT environment is essential, and this will always include all endpoints.”

With this in mind, what can businesses do to improve their endpoint security?

“One in five small companies does not use endpoint security at all, so for these businesses there are vast improvements that can be made quite quickly. We often see organisations relying on out-of-the-box endpoint security packages, and believing they are 100% protected. While these packages can make it more difficult for an attacker to breach your system through a compromised device, the software must be correctly configured for it to be effective. Most businesses do not have the in-house expertise to do this themselves so it is wise to hire a cybersecurity expert who can advise on the best software to use and configure it properly for you. It’s also essential to install all updates promptly and renew or change your endpoint security software after a subscription has expired – it sounds obvious, but it’s a job that many companies delay for far too long.

“Also, basic, but often overlooked, security measures such as making sure employees choose strong passwords and never write their passwords down can go a long way – particularly in the case of device theft. Implementing single sign-on can help with password protection. With the rise in remote working, organisations are also advised to conduct security training to ensure that employees are aware of how to securely use work devices out of the office.”

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