Endpoint security management accounts for cyberdefense across every device in your tech ecosystem. Implementing it efficiently means maintaining protections and preventing risks while also being ready for any events that impact your devices—all of which is easier with third-party help.
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Efficient Endpoint Security Management, Explained
Protecting endpoints efficiently is challenging, not least because of the sheer number and variety of assets it concerns. You need to secure every single device that connects with networks and systems on which sensitive data is stored or otherwise processed.
Streamlining the process means unifying several disparate systems, including:
- Security infrastructure and architecture across endpoints
- System-wide threat and vulnerability management
- Immediate and longer-term incident management
Working with a managed security service provider (MSSP) will help you rethink and optimize all elements of your endpoint security management, from initial planning through implementation.
Install Flexible Infrastructure and Architecture
At the most minute level, endpoint security starts with installing and maintaining specific controls to safeguard the various devices that comprise your system. That means implementing security infrastructure, such as secure wifi, cloud, and other networks that computers, cellphones, printers, and other devices will connect to. But it also means building on that with architectural elements, such as firewalls, antimalware and antivirus software, and web filters.
These protections also need to be maintained with patch reporting and management.
On a broader scale, organizations should also consider more comprehensive approaches to endpoint security. Connectivity and communication between the various controls governing all devices across networks allow for security information and event management (SIEM).
In an effective SIEM deployment, any activity that directly involves or otherwise concerns one endpoint is analyzed with respect to its impact on all endpoints—a critical part of risk prevention.
Compliance Considerations Across Endpoints
One of the most challenging elements of any cybersecurity deployment, especially when it comes to accounting for protections across endpoints, is regulatory compliance management.
Depending on your organization’s operations, location, and industry, you may be subject to certain regulations that govern specific security requirements you need to meet. A big part of achieving and maintaining proper certification is ensuring that every single endpoint with access to protected data classes is protected and prevents breaches through or impacting the device.
For example, organizations that process credit card transactions or cardholder data (CHD) need to protect it wherever it exists in storage or transit across any endpoints. That is a critical aspect of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance; failure to secure all endpoints per DSS requirements can result in fines implemented by PCI stakeholders.
In many cases, your endpoints may be subject to multiple overlapping regulations. An MSSP will help you meet requirements efficiently, reducing overlap and streamlining assessment.
Monitor and Mitigate Threats and Vulnerabilities
Effective endpoint security management requires a proactive posture. Rather than just reacting to attacks or other incidents as they impact your devices, your organization should strive to prevent as many incidents as possible by monitoring for, detecting, and mitigating risks.
A critical part of endpoint security is threat and vulnerability management, which concerns:
- Vulnerabilities – These are gaps or weaknesses in security measures on or impacting your individual devices and networks they connect to, like missing updates or patches.
- Threats – These are events and actors that could exploit a vulnerability and cause harm to multiple endpoints, such as direct attacks (hacking, phishing, etc.) or natural disasters.
The relationship between these two factors is expressed as risk. Namely, the likelihood that a vulnerability will be exploited by a threat, and the potential damage that could be done, is the risk posed. These kinds of calculations should consider both individual endpoints and the various assets and systems they connect to. Risk to one device may implicate all devices.
Managing threats and vulnerabilities requires constantly scanning, documenting and identifying, analyzing, prioritizing, and ultimately taking steps to neutralize or minimize as many as possible.
Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) Considerations
If your organization works with contractors, vendors, or other third parties that have access to sensitive data in your systems, it radically alters the scope of endpoint security management.
Any device that can access sensitive environments, irrespective of who owns or is responsible for it, needs to be considered. In fact, vulnerabilities and threats on such third-party devices might be more difficult to monitor and mitigate because of their ownership and governance.
In particular, challenges imposed by third-party endpoints include but are not limited to:
- Potential connections to unknown or unprotected networks on third-party devices
- Less ability to govern user accounts, access, and behavior of third-party personnel
- A lack of control over programs and other software installed on third-party devices
- Limited visibility regarding third parties’ individual awareness and security vigilance
Enter third-party risk management (TPRM), which accounts for these difficulties proactively by integrating endpoints from your strategic partners into your web of cyberdefense protections.
Optimize Incident Management Across Devices
Another critical element of endpoint security management is dealing with incidents as they happen. The most effective systems take a holistic view and account for prevention and longer-term recovery and continuity to minimize the impact that attacks can have.
Robust incident management for endpoint security includes:
- Identification – Monitoring infrastructure performs regular scans for irregularities and attack indicators across all endpoints and networks or systems they’re connected to.
- Logging – When incidents are detected, they should be logged immediately for analysis and immediate responses, like the seizure of access and quarantine of select resources.
- Investigation – Response teams will analyze all elements of the incident, comparing it to secure baselines and threat intelligence to determine its root causes and solutions.
- Assignment – Response teams are selected, resources are allocated, and activities are engaged—and escalated, as necessary—to contain and ultimately neutralize the event.
- Resolution – Along with neutralizing the event, responders resolve it by eliminating all remnants thereof except for any trace amounts needed for reporting and future analysis.
- Continuity – During and after the incident takes place, measures need to be taken to maximize business continuity and customer satisfaction and minimize noncompliance.
When an attack or other incident impacts even one endpoint in your system, you need to spring into action immediately. And it’s critical to ensure that incident management remains in place after resolution to account for longer-term impacts on endpoints, users, and the system at large.
MSSPs will facilitate the process, keeping endpoints safe even when incidents occur.
Utilize Managed Endpoint Security Services
The best way to streamline your endpoint security management is to work with a managed security service provider (MSSP) on some or all of your deployment. Endpoint security is challenging for any organization, but it grows exponentially more so as the amount and variety of endpoints you deal with scale alongside your business’s growth. Working with more and different kinds of sensitive data multiplies the challenges—and stakes—of every device.
Endpoint services and other MSSP providers make all of the processes detailed above both more effective and easier to implement, often at lower overall costs than doing so internally.
Endpoint Security Management with RSI Security
Endpoint security requires attention to detail in every security measure across all endpoints in your IT environment, including third-party devices. You’ll need to install and update safeguards, maintain compliance, monitor for and mitigate risks, and navigate incidents as they occur.
RSI Security has helped countless organizations optimize their endpoint security. We’re committed to service above all else, helping our partners create freedom through discipline.
To rethink and optimize your endpoint security management, contact RSI Security today!