Cybersecurity began with the antivirus. It was the antivirus software that we relied on to secure systems and networks, plus of course endpoint devices too. But today, with technology evolving in an unprecedented manner, traditional antivirus has given way to all kinds of advanced security software.
Endpoint protection is today almost impossible with traditional endpoint antivirus. We have new attack techniques like polymorphic malware, wrappers and packers, which would go undetected if we rely on security provided by traditional endpoint antivirus software. Such software depend on static signatures to identify known threats and hence won't be able to detect such advanced malware. Today we have intelligent hackers who'd easily alter the code or fingerprint of the malware and thus evade antivirus detection. We also have file-less attacks which would get downloaded via a website that's browsed. Hence it becomes inevitable to switch over to the advanced new age endpoint protection software, especially if you are looking to secure corporate environment and corporate data.
The Advanced New Age Endpoint Protection Software
The advanced new age endpoint protection software is a come-together of different techniques that work towards detecting and stopping any kind of malicious intrusion.
Here's a look at some of the techniques that today's new age endpoint prevention software would comprise of-
Antimalware Software - The standard signature-based antimalware software that would detect known malware and protect the system.
Application Whitelisting - This is all about limiting and controlling applications, deciding which ones may be installed and executed, and which ones not, at any particular endpoint.
Device Control - Also referred to as Port Control, this software is used to prevent/authorize the use of endpoint mobile devices and removable media (like USB devices, CDs, DVDs etc). There could also be a control on the type of data that can be stored on endpoint mobile devices and removable media.
Endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP) - This includes monitoring an endpoint's storage to identify sensitive data and monitoring an endpoint's use to identify actions involving sensitive data, actions like copying and pasting from a customer database to an email message. This helps prevent breaches of sensitive data to a great extent.
Enterprise Mobile Device Management (MDM) - Enterprise MDM software controls and protects mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops and includes providing security capabilities like endpoint DLP, device control and storage encryption.
Host-based Firewall - Also known as personal firewall, this software provides protection to endpoints by blocking unwanted connection attempts and sometimes also by providing some extra protection for application-generated network traffic.
Storage Encryption - This involves complete encryption of the endpoint's storage media (other than the boot sector, probably). Thus it becomes impossible to recover or steal data stored on the media when the endpoint is powered off or is left in an unauthenticated state.
Vulnerability Assessment - This basically is all about detecting known vulnerabilities (like missing patches, outdated software and misconfigured security settings) in the endpoint, primarily in the OS of the endpoint device and in common applications like the email client, web browser etc.
The endpoint protection software basically comprises of centralized management server(s) plus agent software installed onto each endpoint. The agent software is mostly embedded into the OS and serves to intercept endpoint activity and block it if needed.
Prediction and Prevention- The Best Defenses
Well, as the adage goes, Prevention is always better than cure. So being able to predict the likelihood of an attack is the basis of the best endpoint protection strategy. This could help in assessing actions in advance and planning monitoring and combating the attack. Moreover, if preventive measures can be adopted and threats and attacks prevented, it would be the best of options. Of course if an attack happens, remediation becomes necessary. But in today's scenario, it would always be advisable to go for advanced new age endpoint protection, which is one of the best strategies to secure corporate environment and data.