Endpoint security technologies are vitally important in today’s world of remote work. Hackers are finding new vulnerabilities to attack constantly. Here are 5 endpoint security technologies to defend against cyber threats.
Increasingly sophisticated threats target the endpoint devices that are connected to every organization’s network. These endpoint devices include workstations, employee laptops, and IoT devices. Modern cyber threats can easily evade signature-based technologies that rely on databases of known malware to detect cyber attacks.
This article highlights five advanced endpoint security technologies that organizations need if they want better protection in the current threat landscape.
#1. AI Endpoint Security
Artificial intelligence (AI) has a powerful role to play in advancing the protection of endpoint security. Machine learning algorithms that autonomously improve over time can be used to detect contextual anomalies on endpoint devices that indicate in-progress cyber attacks. These contextual anomalies include unexpected application behavior and logins from new locations or IP addresses.
Data science professionals can train machine learning algorithms using huge datasets of known threats. Additional security-related information can train the algorithms to understand normal patterns of usage across many different endpoint devices. Deployed in endpoint protection solutions, AI can help detect new variants of known malware for which no signature even exists in any database. Signature-based anti-malware technology detects 99 percent of known threats, while AI can help address the most dangerous 1 percent of sophisticated emerging threats.
#2. Application Isolation
An increasingly problematic attack vector that threatens endpoint devices is known as a fileless attack. In a fileless attack, the perpetrator uses applications and tools that are already installed on a target endpoint device. It’s harder to detect a fileless attack because it doesn’t require the installation of any new code or the execution of a new file on the endpoint.
Fileless attacks often exploit macros in office applications or scripting languages such as PowerShell. Endpoint solutions with application isolation take a zero-trust approach to application behavior. In practice, application isolation establishes a whitelist of approved applications that can run on an endpoint and sets rules for what each application can do.
For applications that aren’t trusted by default, restrictive controls enable endpoint devices to run the application with limited ability to interact with the operating system or with other trusted applications. The benefit of application isolation is that you dramatically shrink down the attack surface with more granular control over what applications can do on your endpoints.
#3. Endpoint Detection and Response
While it’s better to prevent cyber attacks before they can infiltrate your network, it’s prudent to operate under the assumption that one of your endpoints will be breached at some point. When operating under this assumption, you can put technologies and workflows in place that quickly contain a breach. Endpoint detection and response leverages threat intelligence to detect threats and remediation strategies to contain any damage.
The response aspect of this type of technology typically combines the following automated strategies:
- Quarantining any endpoint device on which a threat has been detected and verified
- Fully deleting files and their artifacts from any compromised endpoint.
- Blacklisting sets of IP addresses or specific URLs from which the threat was detected.
#5. Patch Management
A shocking amount of many high-profile cybersecurity incidents begin with exploiting a software vulnerability for which a security patch already exists. The problem with applying patches is that many organizations use inefficient manual processes to push software updates to endpoints. Sometimes, it’s left to the user of the endpoint to install the update, which is a recipe for disaster.
Smart patch management in the modern threat landscape should automatically apply the latest security updates to different endpoints. The patch management solution should be mandated by the company so that all endpoint devices are covered, which includes personal laptops that employees use to connect to cloud-based business applications.
Deception is an interesting area of cybersecurity that is focused on setting traps for threat actors to reveal their attack techniques or to simply attack phony parts of the network on which no resources exist. A good example is to set up a fake endpoint, which appears to attackers as a host on the network. As soon as you see activity on the fake endpoint, you know an attacker is trying to breach your network, and you can view their activities to get insight into any potential attack vectors they’re trying to deploy.
Another deception tactic is to create fake files with attractive names, such as files with the word “confidential” in the title. Deceiving attackers into revealing their techniques is a good way to get visibility into the real-world threat landscape. Several proprietary security solutions allow you to deploy various types of bait throughout the endpoint devices on your network.
Modern endpoint security must take a layered approach if organizations want adequate defense in the current threat landscape. Ideally, all of these endpoint security technologies should be combined into a single solution for ease of deployment. Many of the largest security vendors have modern endpoint protection solutions with all of these features.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a time to chat with an endpoint security analyst.