One of the biggest challenges for an IT department tasked with securing its network is the exponential growth of the “endpoints” that are used to access that network. The job of securing the corporate network is made even tougher for businesses that have adopted “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies that allow employees to connect to the network using personally, versus corporate, owned laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc. Because any device that is being used by employees for remote access to the corporate network can also be used by hackers for the same purpose, securing these endpoints is a necessity.
Here are 4 measures you can take now to enhance endpoint security:
* Define and assess all remote access software that is being used by employees – Remote access software, and a subset known as “remote desktop” software, allow employees to access network resources, often through connections that are inside the business’s physical location. Examples of software that enables employees to control their onsite computers via remote control include “LogMeIn” and “GoToMyPC”. Access enabled by these types of software can provide exploitable weaknesses which should be assessed immediately.
* Make sure antivirus protection is updated and operational – A common method for hackers to gain access to networks is to start by circumventing or disabling outdated antivirus and/or malware protection at a user’s endpoint. Check all network endpoints to ensure that employees’ devices have operational and current antivirus/malware protection.
* Establish administrative access levels – One of the most common mistakes in network security is to assume that preventing entry is the only line of defense. By tiering access levels to proprietary information with additional pass code formats, a second line of defense can be established that can significantly limit damage in the event of a breach via a vulnerable endpoint.
* Develop a plan to stay current with new endpoint protection technologies – Another common mistake in network security is to leave defenses static, rather than evolve them as new technologies become available. Considering that hackers trying to access corporate networks are always developing new methodologies, the best way to protect your network is to upgrade protective measures on a regular basis.
It’s very possible that the weakest aspects of your network are its endpoints. Take these four steps now to enhance network security, minimize potential damage, and stay current with evolving technologies.