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    The Basics of Endpoint and VPN Security

    As the workforce turned to virtual environments over the past year, the effect on endpoint security and device use has skyrocketed. The percentage increase of sensitive data now stored on enterprise devices hit 62%. Even more startling, the percentage increase of enterprises that use collaboration applications or software was 176%.

    Because it is usually businesses that are affected by this, with employees now having remote access to sensitive data, the implementation of enhanced cybersecurity policies has become even more necessary. Hackers have become more skilled at infiltrating networks and executing attacks, so businesses and enterprises should never let their guard down.

    What Are Endpoint Security Technologies?

    Endpoint security is a cybersecurity practice that involves securing endpoints on a network. Anything, from a phone to a tablet; computer to a server, and other IoT devices classify as an endpoint if used for communication across a network. Endpoint security technology will help protect these devices from cybercrimes such as phishing, malware, ransomware, and browser-based attacks.

    It is a crucial component of any business' security policies, especially since 70% of breaches are committed by external actors or hackers just waiting to gain access to your data, usually for financial gain.

    In corporate environments or enterprises, system administrators have access to control and manage security. The server or administrator installs and configures endpoint security software on every endpoint device. This individual or team is responsible for logging alerts and performance to monitor any malicious activity.

    What Are the Types of Endpoint Security?

    There are numerous types of endpoint security for your devices, which could be beneficial according to their individual capabilities or the specific threats they cover.

    • Antivirus is likely the most common type of endpoint protection that is directly installed on endpoints. It both detects and removes any malicious activity.
    • URL Filtering prevents users from visiting any malicious website, including unwanted downloads to your network.
    • Application Control manages permissions on applications through white-, gray-, and black-listing. This restricts unauthorized applications from running.
    • Endpoint Detection & Response keep track of the applications and files that enter your company's endpoints. This detects ransomware and malware as well.
    • Browser Isolation limits browsing activity to safe interactions and isolated environments, likewise destroying browser codes after a session.
    • Network Access Control secures your access to network nodes to help you manage access to your network security and infrastructure.
    • Endpoint Encryption can combat data leaks by encrypting data on endpoints.
    • Cloud Perimeter Security acts as an additional layer of protection on any of your databases or cloud environments.
    • Secure Email Gateways track messages for suspicious activity and stop their delivery if this occurs.

    What Is the Best Endpoint Protection?

    Choosing endpoint security depends on the kind or level of protection that you need. Your more traditional endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) are sufficient at covering malware and the usual roster of threats. However, since these threats are becoming more complex, it never hurts to add more security solutions to cover all your bases.

    More businesses are incorporating endpoint detection response (EDR) and managed detection and response (MDR). The former is ideal for any organization that hopes to immediately attend to these advanced threats in real-time. It is ideal for monitoring endpoints, as it boosts your visibility and also makes use of real-time analytics.

    The latter, on the other hand, ensures protection 24/7. Businesses that have limited resources may use MDR to outsource security measures to experts who are well-versed in dealing with cyber threats.

    What Should You Look For in Endpoint Protection?

    Since cyber threats and crimes are ubiquitous these days, there are numerous products and solutions for users to consider. Here are some things to look out for in products that can give you better data protection.

    • Consistent Monitoring - No matter how careful you are, some hackers still find away to execute a breach. It's important that your security platform be able to provide consistent and continuous monitoring to detect malicious behavior so that you can nip any threat in the bud.
    • Integrated Defenses Against Threats - If you have numerous different cybersecurity tools, it is important that they work well with one another to cover any possible gaps across your network or system.
    • Enhanced Prevention Capabilities - Prevention is the best thing you can do to protect your networks, so you will need endpoint protection that can detect threats before they become serious.

    Are VPNs Good For Security?

    A virtual private network (VPN) is a type of service that lets you use unencrypted, unsecured, or public networks on your devices. These VPN connections create secure connections by re-routing your device data from an alternate server, and making this unreadable or inaccessible through encryption.

    A VPN is good for security especially because hackers, sniffers, and cybercriminals are always on the prowl. Moreover, users within as little as 300 feet, if well-equipped, can hijack your devices and steal your data. VPN connection will also change your IP addresses and possibly even your country or location of origin.

    For businesses with remote employees, relying on VPN traffic encryption means that your operations stay secure regardless of what internet connection your employees use to access their business email, work applications, and the like.

    Are VPNs Dangerous?

    Although virtual private networks can safeguard against the aforementioned threats, free VPNs may not always be safe. Free virtual private network software does not guarantee that your browsing activity and information will be protected. Some of these monitor your online activity or utilize third-party tools.

    Sometimes, there may also be programming errors and questionable privacy policies. Users must be very prudent about choosing their VPN software or vendor, especially for business purposes. Employees should try to opt for a VPN with multi-factor authentication (MFA) for an added layer of security.

    Which VPN Is Best For Security?

    When it comes to choosing a virtual private network, it is best to go for vendors who have received positive reviews and are trusted to truly deliver in terms of protecting your network security. The following are some of the best-rated VPN vendors across the board:

    • ExpressVPN: Best VPN overall for privacy and speed
    • NordVPN: Known for speed, reliability, and a separate IP option
    • Surfshark: Renowned for speed and its additional features like unlimited use on devices
    • ProtonVPN: Solid reputation in the security industry

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is endpoint security an antivirus?

    Most endpoint security software on the market today contains antivirus capabilities equal to what an AV could provide. However, these endpoint systems emphasize protection against internal threats as well—a crucial component for many businesses of all sizes and from any industry.

    Can a VPN be hacked?

    Data over a VPN client software is encrypted, meaning the information can only be read by authorized parties. This provides a higher level of security than typical internet connections and makes hacking extremely difficult to accomplish.

    What is endpoint compliance?

    To secure the growing number of devices that go beyond traditional desktops and laptops, an organization's top priority should be endpoint security. The key is to ensure endpoints comply with data security standards so as not to let more access points on your network grow out of control.

    Is using a VPN illegal?

    Aside from a few exceptions (such as Iran), VPN client software use is legal everywhere in the world. Furthermore, there are no restrictions on how you can use your VPN service. However, VPNs won't protect you from getting in trouble for illegal online activity.

    What is an endpoint agent?

    Endpoint agents allow you to monitor the use, connectivity and performance of VPN gateways and end-to-end network connections so that your remote employees can open business-critical internal apps with no impact on user experience.

    Users should always make sure that they pay as much attention to endpoint security and VPNs as they do to their other business concerns. Investing in these security solutions can protect you from grave losses, security breaches, and tarnished reputations.

    Since there are always ways you can improve your cybersecurity, check out some of our articles on data protection and network security for businesses. Contact Assured Standard to learn more!

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