Understanding Endpoint Security
Endpoint security is something that any small business with mobile workers should take seriously. In the world of security an endpoint is an end-user device such as a laptop, desktop, or even mobile phone.
Endpoints are devices that are used to gain access to your business network. In most businesses, it's fair to say that the network and servers have fairly robust security. A smart attacker is unlikely to waste time trying to gain access to a well-managed network that is regularly updated to ensure that it is not vulnerable to well-known exploits when there is a much easier option for getting access in the form of taking advantage of user error.
The Challenge of Securing Multiple Devices
Endpoint security involves making sure that those numerous points of access to your networks are well protected. If you provide laptops, tablets, and phones for your users and they are managed via a central server, with robust security policies, this can reduce a lot of the potential issues, but there is still the risk of an employee attempting to bypass any security controls to use their devices for personal entertainment.
Many businesses do not provide their employees with devices, or do supply a device but also allow their employees to connect to their networks using their own devices. Allowing employees to use their own phones, laptops and other devices at work is known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD. This policy has a lot of advantages, since many employees prefer to use a specific type of phone. BYOD can improve morale, and also reduce the tech support burden at a small company since it removes the need to re-train a person who has spent their whole life using Android to be able to manage an Apple device, for example.
BYOD is not without challenges, though. If a user fails to encrypt data on their device, there could be data protection challenges. In addition, most enterprise-supplied devices are locked down with extensive policies to prevent users from installing third-party applications on them. These controls reduce the risk of a user running malware by accident. This is one of the most effective forms of endpoint security. When a company allows BYOD policies, the risk of malware getting onto the network increases.
How Endpoint Security Can Help You
If you are a business owner concerned about network security and how it relates to your employee's devices, know that you do have a lot of options. Working with an IT managed services provider can help you to plan how you will secure everything from your office desktops (preventing users from walking out of the company with a USB drive full of sensitive data) to mobile phones and tablets.
From making an inventory of every device to encrypting data and having robust password policies, there are many steps that can be taken to make your business and its data more secure. Why not book an audit for your business today, and start on the path towards a more secure business.