Endpoint Security, or Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), is a centrally managed cybersecurity approach to defend against cyberattacks for any device that remotely connects to a corporate network. Endpoint security solutions are designed to detect malicious activity, prevent file-based malware attacks, and respond by detecting and remediating known and unknown security incidents and alerts. More advanced endpoint security solutions include anti-rootkit threat detection, prevention and removal capabilities.
Endpoint devices, like mobile devices, IoT, printers, point-of-sale systems, servers, laptops, and desktops represent an entry point for a cyberattack. The number of endpoints is increasing with the pandemic-induced shift to remote workforces, mobility and cloud, and businesses of all sizes are potential targets for cyberattacks. Social attacks are growing in number and sophistication, including phishing scams designed to deliver malware in order to steal data, destroy systems, and conduct espionage.
Protecting endpoints against cyberattacks is difficult because organizations must protect their assets without impeding their employee’s, customer’, and partner’s legitimate activities. As effective as some endpoint security solutions are, there is always the chance that a user will unsuspectingly fall prey to a social engineering attack.
Endpoint security solutions examine files, processes, and system activity for suspicious or malicious indicators. As enterprise perimeters expand across on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments, there is a greater need for centralized management dashboards for administrators to monitor, investigate, respond and eliminate malicious events and activities.
Most endpoint security vendors have one of the following: signature scanning, behavioral analysis, or machine learning capabilities. However, it’s important for endpoint security to have all three detection methods, and for attack sources to be aggregated together, so collective action can be taken and to reduce business disruption from false positives.
Virus scanning signatures use a database that is updated when new malware signatures are identified. Their limitation is when malware has not yet been identified, and therefore, not included within the database. Nextgen endpoint security solutions overcome this problem by using real-time AI and machine learning to identify new malware. They can examine elements such as file hashes, URLs, and IP addresses. Endpoint security with machine learning capabilities can record and learn from new attacks. The truth is, there are no defenses that will work all the time, and some attacks will inevitably penetrate the network. However, more advanced endpoint security provides real-time continuous and comprehensive visibility into activities associated with endpoints to immediately detect, respond and eliminate attacks.
Analyzing the entire cyberattack lifecycle requires deep intelligence and visibility into malicious and suspicious activity throughout the network. IT and security teams need to know when activity is anomalous, so they can set the alarms to prevent an attack.
In order to act more quickly, security teams need accurate and continuously updated intelligence that automatically tunes their defenses to respond within minutes, not hours or days.
Bad actors use many different tactics, such as malware, phishing, SQL injection, zero-day exploits, man-in-the-middle, spear-phishing, and others. The more information cybercriminals obtain, the more damage they can inflict.
Cyberattacks have multiple stages that are part of the attack chain of events. When attacks are discovered close to their origin, they can be stopped more quickly to minimize damage. Every cyberattack has evidence that can be traced. Cyberattack stages can include conducting reconnaissance, creating the attack payload, delivering the payload, and installing malicious code on victim’s devices. Analyzing these stages, and others, helps inform analysts so they can prevent future attacks.
Enterprise digital resources are not always connected directly to the corporate network. The remote workforce, mobility and the cloud require an endpoint solution that can detect threats even when devices are offline. Complete visibility across on and off network devices provides a defense without blind spots.
It’s important to note, not all behavioral analysis methods are equal. Endpoint security behavioral analysis integrated with the MITRE Attack Framework and an intelligence engine can detect critical points with implanted “sensors” in system threads, registries, file systems, networks, etc. Accumulating a massive list of abnormal activities classified and scored for broad coverage of any process, more advanced endpoint security solutions will include API calls that bring diverse system resources into their protection measures.
To learn more about how to integrate endpoint security into your enterprise, see additional RevBits endpoint security resources.
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