Any device that accesses the Internet from a client’s network poses a potential risk. It may be smartphones, laptops, tablets, printers, desktop workstations or purpose-built devices such as POS terminals. Each of these devices is a possible point of entry for unauthorized users. This is why securing endpoint protection is one of the most critical things you can do for your customers. Cyber threats such as phishing and ransomware usually get into company systems through these endpoints.
Endpoint Protection Strategy
Properly securing endpoints requires a multilayered approach. Your strategy should include not only the obvious antivirus tools and firewalls but also backup and recovery. Add to this user training, but also well-defined regulations for BYOD policies and mobile workforce management.
Cybercriminals work tirelessly and constantly to exploit vulnerabilities that give them access to your clients’ networks. To foil them, MSPs should provide customers with a three-pronged endpoint protection approach that includes, tools, policies and training.
To effectively protect endpoints, you have to think about it in three ways – prevention, remediation, and recovery. For prevention, there’s no shortage of endpoint security solutions that scan for and block malware. These solutions can also issue alerts and initiate remediation when needed.
Some solutions are becoming quite sophisticated, employing behavior analysis to identify malware for which no signatures are available yet. Advanced detection features look for anomalies and malware characteristics in code samples to determine whether the samples should be flagged as potentially harmful.
File Backup and Recovery
File backup and recovery is an essential complement to endpoint security. No matter how solid a company’s defenses, there’s always the possibility malware will get in. Or, more commonly, a user will make a mistake resulting in loss of data.
When that happens, if a business hasn’t backed up its files regularly, the results can be data loss or security breach. You could end up with incidents that range from inconvenient to catastrophic. This is why a file backup and recovery solution with built-in granularity and rapid restore is essential.
A cloud solution with built-in granularity helps you prioritize among types of data. It can help select which of your clients’ files should be backed up and which should be restored first following a loss. The idea here is to use an intelligent system that can discern the critical data in each endpoint from less-important data. This way, you could automate data management for important data and make sure you can easily recover if disaster strikes.
No security plan is complete without policies regulating device use. The most effective way to accomplish this is to centrally manage all mobile and employee-owned devices. This way, you can prevent misuse and minimize the chance of a data breach. Each BYOD and mobile device should be equipped with lock and wipe technology should they ever fall into the wrong hands.
In addition, whatever endpoint security and file backup and recovery solutions a business has in place should also cover mobile and BYOD devices. Failing to protect these devices is like locking your house, but leaving the keys in the seat of an unlocked car. All a thief has to do is grab the keys and look in the glove box for a registration with an address, and break in.
Training users to avoid visiting suspicious websites and clicking harmful links and attachments is a must. MSPs need to work with customers in this area, making sure users recognize the danger signs and immediately report anything suspicious.
Without addressing the human element, any effort to secure endpoints will fall short of full protection. Training, therefore, is just as important as deploying technology that scans and blocks malware, and solutions that back up and restore data.