With as many as 67% of small businesses victim to cyber-attacks in 2018 (an increase from 61% in the previous year), the misconception that small businesses are less vulnerable to attacks is becoming less credible. The Verizon 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 92.4% of malware is received through email, a breach in endpoint security. With this and many more vulnerabilities in endpoint security alone, businesses of all sizes would be well advised to develop effective security strategies sooner rather than later.
You may be looking for an IT consultancy to assist with your technology needs, from cyber security to disaster recovery. Technology has become a central component to business and with the right support, startups can scale and grow at a faster rate.
What is endpoint security?
Endpoint security is the aspect of IT security that focusses on the remote bridging of computer networks to client devices. Such devices include laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other wireless devices connected to a corporate network and which pose potential security threats. In endpoint security, there are various solutions used which take different approaches to security.
The different types of endpoint security include antivirus, which is software offering basic protection against malicious applications. It can identify and remove viruses but is unable to protect zero-day or network vulnerabilities.
Browser isolation is the protection in web browsers against attacks that include ransomware, drive-by downloads, zero-day attacks and crypto jacking malware. Solutions can protect by executing browser sessions in isolated environments.
Web traffic can be restricted to trusted websites through the use of URL filtering, which prevents access to websites with potentially harmful or malicious content.
Network access control is concerned with the use of network nodes, controlling access for devices and users on the network infrastructure. These will allow firewalls, switches and routers to work with end-user devices.
All that applications have permission to do, using blacklisting, graylisting and whitelisting functions, is referred to as application control. This can put network data at risk, but it doesn’t include browser plugins or browser-executable code.
In a similar way to search engines scanning for new sites and updates, harmful software has automated threats to crawl the internet looking for weaknesses in network perimeters, operating system installations and any other areas.
Among their many products, McAfee offers Endpoint Protection for SMB, which is specifically designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. It features antivirus protection, a built-in firewall and it uses machine learning to identify code that is potentially harmful.
It comes with a cloud threat detection (CTD) option, anti-malware protection, web security and device control to defend against security threats. It also features an access protection tool that restricts access in the event of a cyber-attack. This software retails for $30.16 per user per year.
Kapersky’s Small Office Security is efficient and the antivirus has a range of management features, offering sophisticated protection against attacks.
This endpoint security solution comes with excellent anti-ransomware features as well as anti-malware protection and it is also easy and quick to install and use. Other features include complete encryption, cloud-based monitoring management and real-time cloud protection against malware, viruses and phishing. There is a password manager that comes with the software and it has the capability to control every computer on the network at the same time. Plans start from $190 for the first year, covering five desktop computers, five mobile devices and one file server.
Bitdefender has a range of software packages that include GravityZone Business Security, which is aimed at small businesses.
This software is easy to install and intuitive for untrained users. The software is also easy to navigate, the settings are easy to configure, computers can be added with ease and monitoring the network is simple to follow. It features machine learning antivirus, an anti-exploit programme and a process inspector. The software claims to have the ability to detect 99% of known and unknown threats, such as worms, spyware, trojans and viruses.
This software package is priced at $365 for 10 devices for a year, but the price can be adjusted for the precise usage needed. A free trial is also offered.
Symantec Endpoint Protection for Small Business Software offers a security software suite specifically designed for the needs of small businesses. Features include firewall, antivirus, behaviour monitoring, intrusion protection and a power eraser that deals with returning threats and repairs.
From a central console, users can control and restrict access to external media, manage application whitelists and blacklists, control file and registry access, enforce policies and monitor systems. Pricing for this edition starts from $2.50 per month.
Avast Business Antivirus provides an excellent level of business endpoint security. Features include firewall, antivirus, anti-spam and email protection. It also has the capability to sandbox applications for security. The antivirus protection is rated highly, with the ability to block 99.7% of threats.
There are three editions of Avast endpoint security solutions, and the Pro version includes sharepoint and exchange protection, among other tools. The software comes with a 30-day free trial, after which the plans start from $39.99 per year.
As the world of IoT is expanding by the day and finding new applications that streamline business processes, the range of vulnerabilities and potential for attacks are also on the rise. Endpoint security is something that we will all need to be more familiar with to protect our business interests against the growing threats. To some, security may seem like a chore, but the potential damage is the same for all of us.