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6 Essential Tips for Better Endpoint Security

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Endpoints are among hackers' favorite targets. They’re the gateway to an organization's digital infrastructure. And that’s what makes them a prime target. 

According to IDC, a staggering 70% of breaches originate at the endpoint. With IT teams needing to protect more endpoints—and more kinds of endpoints—than ever before, that perimeter has become much harder to defend. So where do you even start?

To help you navigate this space, here are six key strategies to strengthen your endpoint security and minimize risks.

1. Get to Know Your Endpoints

Endpoints include everything from desktops and laptops to mobile devices and servers. Knowing the endpoints in your network is crucial for crafting a solid security strategy. 

70% of breaches start at the endpoint

A few tips for success here: 

  • Start by taking stock of all your endpoints and categorizing them based on their functions and importance.
  • Use an asset management tool to keep an updated inventory of your endpoints.
  • Prioritize security measures for critical endpoints.

So make that list, check it twice, and use it to tailor your defensive strategy.

2. Stay Ahead of Vulnerabilities with Proactive Patch Management

Regularly updating operating systems and applications is key to endpoint security and overall good cyber hygiene. Look to create a proactive patch management strategy to address vulnerabilities promptly. To keep risk levels low, prioritize patches based on severity, and test updates in a controlled environment before rolling them out to avoid disruptions.

3. Add Extra Protection with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication is critical

MFA is a great way to enhance endpoint security. By requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification—like passwords, security tokens, or biometrics—MFA significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. Think of it as an extra layer of protection for your endpoints. As a best practice, you should encourage the use of MFA across all devices. Be sure to review settings regularly to keep it effective.

4. Embrace the Principle of Least Privilege

The principle of least privilege can help you strike the right balance between security and functionality. This concept works by giving users, programs, or processes only the access they need to do their jobs. This minimizes unauthorized access while maintaining productivity. 

To enforce this principle effectively, you can:

  • Use role-based access controls to align permissions with job responsibilities. 
  • Regularly audit access permissions to keep the principle of least privilege effective over time.

5. Prioritize Real-Time Insights and Visibility

Real-time monitoring and telemetry give you a clear view of endpoint activities and behaviors, which is so critical to your endpoint security.

Look for security solutions that have real-time monitoring capabilities—this can help you detect and respond to threats quickly. And you can take things one step further by setting up alerts for suspicious activities or regularly analyzing telemetry data to spot and address emerging threats.

6. Strengthen Your Defense with EDR

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions are essential for a strong security strategy. EDR continuously monitors for suspicious activity at the endpoint level, allowing you to quickly detect and respond to threats. That’s really what sets EDR apart from other preventive solutions—like antivirus or firewalls—and why it’s a complementary layer in any security stack. 

When looking for an EDR solution, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind:

  • Look for an EDR solution that offers real-time detection and alerting, is easy to roll out and use, and plays nice with your other tools.
  • EDR solutions aren’t “set it and forget it.” Think about whether you have the right skill sets and abilities to manage a solution on your own.
  • Evaluate if unmanaged or managed EDR is the right route for you. 

These six strategies can help strengthen your organization's defenses, and they’re a great place to start when building your endpoint security plan. But remember, endpoint security is an ongoing process that requires being vigilant and adaptable to stay ahead of today’s threats.

If you want even more pro tips on how to boost your endpoint security, check out our eBook for a deeper dive!

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