Making a Case For Endpoint Management to Secure Networks

When undergoing a digital transformation, most businesses focus heavily on their server infrastructure and network. While they are important, the devices that your employees use to connect to this infrastructure also need attention.

An endpoint is defined as any remote device that interfaces with your network. These could include workstations, laptops, smartphones and point of sale (POS) systems. For businesses, the focus of endpoint Management is controlling the computer hardware, so employees can perform their work while maintaining security standards at the end of your network.

Why is endpoint management important?

Each endpoint is a potential door into your network for attackers, making it essential that you maintain high-security standards on the devices.

With enterprise IT security, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Many IT departments emphasize on securing their servers and network but forget about the remote devices that interface with it. This IDC infographic says that 70% of successful data breaches occur on endpoint devices, with the weakest link being user credentials. Some of the ways in which attackers obtain these user credentials include:

  • Passwords – Many attackers succeed with default passwords, which are openly visible to anyone who uses the same IT software as you. When brute-forcing a password, attackers will have a dictionary of common phrases and numbers. If you have a weak password strength policy, it would be straightforward to guess using this method.
    As passwords are the weakest link in the chain, you should pay close attention to your security policies for them. Start by enforcing a minimum complexity, including upper case, numbers and symbols. Password length is secondary to complexity as five dictionary words in a row are easier to crack than a random string of alphanumeric characters. A combination of these two makes it harder to guess the passwords and hence, form an integral part of endpoint management in the enterprise.
  • Keylogging – Without visibility into the software installed on your endpoints, you may fall victim to keylogging malware. These malicious applications can track keyboard inputs, allowing attackers to view passwords and confidential information as it is typed.
    With endpoint management, it is vital that you restrict the installation of third-party software to your IT department as they have the knowledge and experience to vet applications properly. This includes desktop software applications and web browser extensions, which can bypass traditional application controls as they get installed within the web browser. By heavily restricting the installation of these packages, you can minimize the risk of malicious software finding its way on to your endpoints.

Managing endpoint software updates

While user credentials are the primary cause of data breaches, outdated software also poses a risk to your network. By managing your endpoints, you can automatically push software updates and restrict network access for non-compliant devices.

Operating system updates are challenging to implement as the employees are unlikely to sit patiently and wait for updates to install. Usually, they just keep postponing the updates and continue to work, as update after update is left pending on the machine. Over the course of a few months, these machines could become increasingly insecure, posing a risk to your network.

You can disable network access for outdated hardware using endpoint management, forcing the user to update the device before they can continue working. This is typically done using the remote authentication dial-in user service (RADIUS) enterprise networking protocol.

Manage your endpoints with Trianz

Trianz is a leading endpoint management consulting firm with decades of experience in helping our clients secure their infrastructure. We can help you plan and implement a comprehensive endpoint management solution that fortifies your network against cyberattacks.

Get in touch with our endpoint management team and start securing the edge of your network today!

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