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Endpoint Protection

Do I Need Endpoint Protection?

May 09, 2024

8 minute read

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Endpoint protection is one of the most important parts of a modern cybersecurity posture. As the landscape of smart tech, operational technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) all continue to expand, organizations are managing more network-enabled devices than ever before.

While the proliferation of mobile devices and smart technology has made working more agile and flexible, it has also greatly increased the number of vulnerabilities organizations need to defend.

With organizations constantly adopting new technology and folding it into their various processes and operations, there are naturally going to be more endpoints that need protection from outside cyberthreats.

Is your business fully prepared to protect itself against modern cyberthreats? Use DOT Security’s Cybersecurity Checklist: How Covered is Your Business? to see what you need to keep your business network secure.

What Is an Endpoint?

An endpoint is any device connected to your organization’s network from outside your firewall. This includes laptops, tablets, desktops, smartphones, wearables (i.e., smartwatches), network-enabled printers, copiers, scanners, POS systems, medical devices, and any other devices that connect to and communicate with your network.

With the expansion of smart technology and the Internet of Things, organizations need to account for the continual increase in endpoints.

What Is Endpoint Protection?

Endpoint protection is the arm of cybersecurity that protects your network’s endpoints listed above. More endpoints mean more potential vulnerabilities in your network that cybercriminals are looking to take advantage of and exploit.

To combat unauthorized network access, endpoint protection services include strong next-gen antivirus, email monitoring, web filtering, and firewalls on each device to help the system administrators and users avoid common attacks like phishing or other forms of social engineering, malware, data corruption, and ransomware.

Aspects of endpoint security

By building a robust endpoint security strategy, you put your organization in a better position when it comes to protecting devices, identifying anomalies and suspicious behavior in your environment, and neutralizing threats before they can blossom in your systems.

Why Is Endpoint Protection Important for Businesses?

Endpoint protection has always been an important aspect of an overall cybersecurity posture. However, with organizations bringing more smart tech, operational technology, and other network-enabled devices into their operations, endpoint protection is only becoming more important for the integrity of a business network.

Whether it’s remote work devices like laptops or smartphones, or just network-enabled workstations, companies have endpoints in nearly every aspect of their organization, and each of these endpoints is a potential entryway for cybercriminals to exploit.

Certain endpoints are more vulnerable than others by the nature of their design. For example, operational technology prefers open networks over which communication is free and data is un-segmented. However, this goes against standard cybersecurity practices which prefers a segmented network that restricts access to authorized and authenticated users.

68% of organizations experienced a targeted endpoint attack that compromised their data or IT infrastructure, demonstrating how frequently corporate endpoints are targeted by cybercriminals and how critical it is to establish a strong cybersecurity posture.

More Endpoints Means More Vulnerabilities

As businesses integrate cloud solutions into their workflows and processes, they continually add endpoints onto their network that need to be accounted for. On top of that, operational technology, like a smart thermostat, is also becoming more popular among businesses.

These various network-enabled devices need to be protected from cyberthreats the same way that smartphones or laptops do. However, their security provisions are far from sophisticated, and the updates often go neglected, creating easy vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to exploit.

The Cybersecurity Climate for Endpoint Security

Between the increase in the volume of remote work and the expanded smart device landscape, endpoint security services have become integral for modern organizations.

Cybersecurity best practices dictate that endpoints are equipped with standard security protocols and are both monitored and updated regularly. Protecting the devices themselves is almost as important as educating your workforce so they can combat threats by prioritizing security.

Market Growth

As a major component in cybersecurity strategies and with the growing digital landscape, it tracks that the endpoint security industry has seen significant growth over the past four years and is projected to continue on its accelerated growth path.

The global endpoint security market was valued at $14.6 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $31.9 billion by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4% from 2022 to 2031.

The growing investments in cybersecurity also indicate a higher emphasis being put on endpoint security by organizational leaders and decision makers.

Do You Need Endpoint Security?

While every company has different cybersecurity needs and priorities, it’s widely considered a best practice to deploy powerful endpoint security strategies that keep devices as protected as possible.

By answering some of the questions below, you’ll better be able to determine how necessary endpoint security services are for your organization, considering current operations. However, as we move into a more digitally integrated era, it’s likely that every modern organization is going to need some level of endpoint security.

How Much of Your Workforce is Remote?

One of the first things to consider when looking into endpoint security services is the size of your remote workforce. Remote workers bring a few complications into the cybersecurity space, as they’re often using their own personal devices and are accessing a company's network virtually.

This means that the company has less control over the security protocols on staff devices, can’t monitor security updates, and might have difficulty monitoring other important employee behavior regarding cybersecurity.

If your organization employs any remote workers, it’s highly suggested that you create and implement a security policy specifically for remote workers. This is a great way to predefine security protocols and expectations you have for remote staff in order to protect your network.

Do Your Locations Use Operational Technology?

Many offices are starting to implement smart technology and operational technology because of the convenience and experience that it’s able to deliver. However, one of the main concerns with smart appliances and operational technology is the lack of security enabled in most cases.

Lack of innate security combined with outdated security software (since these devices are often installed and never updated) makes them prime targets.

Additionally, operational technology and IoT devices thrive in an open network, or an unsegmented network, wherein devices have full visibility and can communicate openly. However, this flies in the face of standard best practices in cybersecurity which dictate that network segmentation is a must.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t implement Internet of Things devices or that you shouldn’t bring smart technology into your operations, but rather that you need to do so intentionally and with a security plan in mind.

What Kind of Information is Being Shared?

It’s important to have strong endpoint protection if your business is regularly exchanging sensitive information.

Businesses in industries like finance and healthcare are consistently handling very sensitive customer information and it’s crucial that the right endpoint security is in place to stop any leaks or breaches that would allow this data to fall into the wrong hands.

While certain industries use, access, and transfer more sensitive data than others, this is quickly changing as data becomes more valuable. An increasingly large number of organizations prioritize the collection and analysis of stored consumer data.

This is also why so many industries are looking into adopting or establishing data privacy regulations.

What Should You Do If You’re Unsure?

If you’re still unsure whether or not you need endpoint protection for your business, the next step is to get a risk assessment performed by a team of cybersecurity experts.

This comprehensive assessment will not only show you all your endpoint vulnerabilities—and help you determine if you need endpoint protection—it can also help you understand your business’s overall cybersecurity risks and the security solutions you need to secure them.

Wrapping Up on Endpoint Protection

At the end of the day, responsible businesses are using some sort of endpoint security in their operations to protect the suite of devices that live on their network. However, it’s the strength and quality of these endpoint security protections that need to come into question.

Your need for powerful endpoint security services partially depends on your workforce, the number of smart devices and operational tech your company uses, and the amount of data your company collects, stores, and accesses on a regular basis.

Endpoint protection is just one part of a larger cybersecurity strategy. Your business has many other potential vulnerabilities that cybercriminals will exploit if given the chance. Download DOT Security’s Cybersecurity Checklist: How Covered is Your Business? to see where you need to strengthen your security posture.