Endpoint Security- Emerging challenges and solutions

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Information Technology is the backbone for every business, whether small or big. Companies are increasingly demanding seamless access to business information and processes on their devices, irrespective of the size or ownership (personal or company-owned) of these endpoint devices. Endpoint devices can be any computing devices such as PCs, laptops, smart phones, tablets, bar code readers or Point of Sale (POS) terminals. To cater to this demand and increase employee productivity, companies are encouraging concepts of consumerization of IT, mobility, BYOD, Cloud, etc. Although, adopting these technology concepts provide lot of benefits, but they also present a lot of security challenges that the IT team has to take care of.

A rising trend that we see is of employees carrying multiple devices to work and using them as an endpoint to access corporate information – anytime, and anywhere. The concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is prevailing, which provides more flexibility to employees to work with their own devices and be more productivity.Thus, securing endpoints has become imperative in order to protect business information and processes, while still providing access to them. This has made it very important for the IT teams to develop a smart endpoint security strategy as part of their overall infrastructure security strategy.

There is a need to implement stringent control on all these devices to keep sensitive company information secure. According toa Gartner analyst,“enterprise BYOD — specifically iOS and Android devices — presents many pros and cons for enterprise endpoint security” [Source]. Since the endpoints are located at the perimeter, traditional network based defence mechanisms may not work within anephemeral endpoint environment. Therefore, IT security should focus on a better security posture for the endpoints. The challenge for security practitioners is to choose the correct endpoint security solution for their network environment. The objective is to enforce policies and meeting compliance on all the devices with a clear and well-documented mobile endpoint security strategy.

Traditional endpoint security solutions are being questioned for their effectiveness to defend against modern attacks. According to ESG research, “62% of security professionals working at enterprise organizations believe that traditional endpoint security software not effective for detecting zero-day or polymorphic malware, commonly used as part of targeted attacks today” [Source]. With the growing number of defects in web browsers, IT administrators view them as the biggest endpoint security headache. And when it comes to configuring and ensuring consistency in maintaining the security on the various types of mobile devices, the complexity increases.

Hence, enterprises are looking for an integrated suite. The endpoint security market needs to evolve from anti-virus-only mode to,one that features multiple functions, to leverage the benefits of consolidated management and reporting from a single console. This may include other related functions, such as endpoint encryption, browser security, and endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for simplified management and integrated visibility.

Security solutions like McAfee and Trend Micro are integrating traditional anti-virus with new types of advanced malware detection, prevention, and analytics. Kaspersky ‘Endpoint Security for Business ADVANCED’ provides fully integrated mobile security and Mobile Device Management (MDM) to benefit businesses from robust security and ease of management.
Moreover, many organizations are already moving beyond anti-virus. ESG research also indicates that over half (51%) of large organizations are planning to add new layers of endpoint security software in order to detect/prevent advanced malware threats [Source].

Therefore it’s time to focus on the importance of core business objectives of the organization by implementing endpoint security solution that eases the complexity of executing and maintaining various layers of defences to protect corporate data. A solution that ensures businesses to continue to operate securely and effectively should include features such as simplified management, superior performance with well-integrated visibility and control mechanism.

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