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9 Pro Tips for Better Endpoint Security

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Hackers love to target endpoints. They are, after all, the gateway to your organization's digital infrastructure.

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

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

Computer Alert

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. 

Stat: 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. Provide Regular Cybersecurity Training

Users and employees are your first line of defense. Regular security awareness training programs provide consistent education to help them learn how to recognize and report potential security threats. By turning users into active participants in your security efforts, you can strengthen the human element of your defense at the endpoint level and beyond.

5. Establish a Clear BYOD Policy

BYOD, or “bring your own device,” allows employees to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes. That means there are more endpoints to defend and more entry points to fend off attackers. A well-defined BYOD policy enforces guidelines for personal device use and ensures those devices are monitored and comply with security standards.

  • Craft a comprehensive BYOD policy outlining usage and security requirements for personal devices in the workplace.
  • Look into mobile device management (MDM) tools to help enforce policies.
  • Regularly audit BYOD devices for both compliance and security adherence.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Conduct Regular Risk Assessments

Think of risk assessments and audits as your cybersecurity health check-ups. Regular assessments identify potential weaknesses and areas for improvement, while audits ensure compliance with security policies. This continuous improvement cycle allows you to adapt strategies based on your findings, keeping your endpoint security solid and effective.

  • Schedule regular risk assessments to evaluate your security measures, including endpoint security, network security, and incident response.
  • Perform audits of endpoint security policies, configurations, and user compliance.
  • Establish a feedback loop to implement improvements based on findings.

9. Strengthen Your Defense with EDR

Employees working in an office

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 solution for you. 

These 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.

And if you're ready to level up your security, start your
free trial of Huntress Managed EDR.

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