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Are your endpoint devices a security threat?

18 Jan 2021

When assessing the greatest security vulnerabilities in your business, endpoints (such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones) should be high on your list. This is because every connected device is a potential entry point for criminals looking to hack into your network.

Given all the security controls on each device and the wide range of applications on them, endpoint security is a complex issue for many businesses.

Illustrating this complexity, 2020: The State of Endpoint Resilience Report from Absolute, revealed that the average number of security agents on each endpoint device is 10.2.

Managing all of those agents and avoiding conflict between them is no small task.

In addition, the report states that nearly one-in-three enterprise devices have endpoint protection (anti-virus/anti-malware), client management or a VPN application that is out of compliance.

While 78% of endpoint devices are running Windows 10, only 10% of them have the two most recent versions of the operating system installed. The average Windows 10 enterprise device is more than three months behind in applying the latest security patches.

Dispersed endpoints

Many companies have asked employees to work from home during the pandemic, to help in the fight against infection, but this has led to a widely dispersed workforce in a range of environments.

While necessary, this has placed those devices at greater risk of breaches and increased the range of possible business vulnerabilities. With mobile devices accounting for nearly one-in-10 security threats, you can’t overlook mobile endpoints as a security vulnerability.

More confidential information is being deployed to endpoints than before. Absolute’s data shows “a significant spike in the instances of sensitive data – such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI) – identified on enterprise endpoints, compared to pre-COVID-19.”

There has also been a 176% increase in collaboration apps installed on devices, such as video conferencing and instant messaging.

These applications potentially expose employees to new threats and vulnerabilities. For example, there is a danger of sensitive information being inadvertently shared or displayed on screen with unauthorised users.

How to make your endpoints secure

So what can you do to make your endpoints more secure? Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) technology is one such solution.

Effective EDR helps businesses to use limited resources more effectively, find and address security incidents faster and focus resources on events that put the organisation at risk.

EDR combines data collection from continuous monitoring of endpoints and analysis of that data to gain a better understanding of how a threat infects an endpoint and the mechanisms by which it spreads across a network. It helps businesses understand how cyberthreats behave and the ways they respond to them.

But companies need the resources in place to use EDR effectively. The Sophos report revealed 54% of organisations are unable to get the full benefit of their EDR technology.

A more effective way to protect devices is with a cloud-based service like VDM Cloud from Vodafone Business.

VDM Cloud provides employees with seamless and secure usage of business apps and tools through any device. This ensures only the right people have access to certain types of information, therefore protecting corporate data from prying eyes.

Find out more about securing your business and endpoints.

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