The current state of endpoint security and compliance is a disaster waiting to happen.
Each day we hear more and more about the barrage of high-profile cyber-attacks resulting in costly data breaches and reputational damage to businesses.
Cybercriminals love endpoints, because endpoints – physical devices that connect to a network system such as mobile devices, desktop computers, laptops and servers – are considered weak spots in corporate security.
According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, 68 per cent of organisations have experienced one or more endpoint attacks that successfully compromised data and/or their IT infrastructure.
Endpoint security is a huge area of vulnerability for business, as evidenced by the volume of data breaches in Australia in 2022. Three data breaches in the second half of last year compromised the private information of millions of Australians in addition to the enormous Medibank and Optus cyberattacks that triggered public outrage.
Figures released on 1 March 2023 by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner show five breaches affected between 1 million and 10 million Australians between July and December 2022.
Globally, it is estimated that there is a ransomware attack on a business every 11 seconds, with ransomware damage losses projected to reach US$20 billion in 2021.
Digital transformation and the changing workplace
October 2020 Boston Consulting Group’s research “Remote Working and the Platform of the Future”, found that the foundations of the new hybrid workplace rely on technology solutions like modern devices and cloud-based collaboration tools, grounded with security solutions that keep endpoints, data and identities secure.
However, the same research confirmed that only 27% of managers surveyed fully acknowledge having the required technology in place.
Digital transformation and the changing workplace are shining a light on two intersecting trends: the variety and volume of endpoint devices, and the need to secure data and systems wherever they reside.
The complexity of endpoint security and compliance stems from the nature of the endpoint devices in use and their overwhelming numbers. Companies typically manage several connected devices that are no longer being monitored because they have been forgotten or there is no one to keep track of them. These ignored, forgotten, and un-updated (OS/firmware) connected devices can become vulnerabilities exploited by cybercriminals to gain access to networks and cloud resources.
To say that endpoint security management needs improvement is an understatement, with the backdrop of increasingly sophisticated and aggressive cyber-attacks. It is urgent. It is clear there is a need to boost endpoint security, and it should start with the desire of organisations to actively pursue effective and efficient endpoint security solutions.
Ignoring basic best practices for end-user device security, coupled with out-of-date device and software compliance will leave your company at risk.
Our experience shows that while many businesses have a security plan in place, the end-user device, often a laptop in our hybrid working world, is the largest threat surface to an organisation.
Just how important is endpoint security management for organisations?
If you ask security managers, it seems to be not that much. A recent Twitter poll carried out by Osirium Technologies shows that it is not a concern for 60 percent of companies. Around 49 percent of the poll’s respondents said that endpoint security is non-existent for them, while 11 percent regard it as a lowest-priority matter.
Control and clarity on device compliance is left as an “IT Issue” with little executive visibility. Fleets often have devices with differing versions of firmware, and even devices which do not have the latest security update as users haven’t been forced to “re-boot” a device.
Chasing down these gaps is a challenge for most organisations due to lack of systems to track compliance, visibility, and support from the executive team (not just IT) and no process for user communications to enforce policies, or simply not enough resources in IT to manage this.
Endpoint management allows IT teams to identify, monitor and control end-users’ access to corporate networks and systems. This protects data from being exposed to a breach through employee mistakes that allow malware or ransomware to be installed, for example, and the abuse of local admin accounts by cyber-attackers. It also adds a layer of protection if devices lack the necessary security tools or configurations to defend against attacks.
According to Gartner, 70% of companies that do not have a firmware update plan in place are likely to be breached due to a firmware vulnerability.
Having an incident response (IR) plan is only the first step. Testing that plan regularly can help you proactively identify weaknesses in your cybersecurity and shore up your defenses. Not to mention you can save millions in data breach costs.
Does your organisation have a live dashboard showing all device non-compliance and a clear accountable owner to drive this number to zero? If not, you may be at risk. We help organisations remove this workload and improve compliance and control over device fleets.
Contact our specialist team today 1300 016 356 or https://thingsat.com/contact/
 Source IBM Cost of data breach 2022 report