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Rethink Endpoint Protection in 2021

Attackers exploit endpoints for maximum damage, making comprehensive and purposeful endpoint protection critical.

Netsurion Guest Blogger

December 18, 2020

4 Min Read
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With cyber criminals continually adapting their attack techniques, protecting endpoint devices becomes more crucial every day. Endpoints represent a popular entry point for attacks, and legacy security solutions like anti-virus struggle with advanced attack techniques because they are overly reliant on signature -based detection.

As we look out into 2021, MSPs need to future-proof for the ongoing “new normal” to deliver resilient endpoint protection so customers can avoid breaches. The new year will bring new security challenges. Here are some practical steps that IT service providers can take to proactively protect end user customer infrastructure and assets, as well as their own.

Consider the Importance of Improved Endpoint Protection

With the rise in digital transformation and remote work, endpoints such as laptops, mobile devices, servers and kiosks make soft targets for attackers. Today’s hackers capitalize on gaps in endpoint security, performing network reconnaissance to infiltrate poorly protected devices and pivot to valuable targets like servers or even third-party partners. This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed, as reports highlight that more than 70% of threats now occur on endpoint devices.

Gauge the Cost of Endpoint Gaps

Endpoint gaps can attract cyber criminals looking for data to monetize or intellectual property to hold for ransom. In addition to data breach costs and compliance fines, bloated tools that are too complex waste money due to inefficiencies like chasing false positives. Equally important, exposed endpoints and out-of-date devices divert finite IT resources that could be better applied to other company initiatives.

Assess Endpoint Risks

Every endpoint is a potential point of infiltration for organizations. In turn, this represents an opportunity for MSPs to offer much needed, advanced endpoint security solutions and outcomes. Here’s how you can enhance customer likelihood of withstanding a targeted attack:

Understand the new threat landscape. Most cyber criminals are financially motivated, willing to devote considerable time and energy for a million-dollar payout. As today’s advanced threats mutate to evade detection by traditional signature-based products, additional layers of protection are required beyond legacy security tools. Increased visibility is needed to detect suspicious activities in real time to block and even proactively prevent malicious threats. Most notably, advanced tools and a defense-in-depth approach can safeguard against new and never seen threats.

Continued work-from-anywhere raises the threat level. The rapid shift of employees offsite due to the pandemic increased the use of work devices for home use as well as personal devices being repurposed for corporate use. All outside the corporate network, this patchwork of devices creates a fragmented approach to security and visibility. As enterprise employees move back onsite, hybrid models can create new and unintended security gaps.

Patching remains a key priority. With organizations averaging 97 days to patch exposed flaws per the Ponemon Institute’s Study on the State of Endpoint Risk, it’s no wonder that hackers actively look for these vulnerabilities to exploit. Operating systems, applications and embedded systems all utilize patch management to reduce data breach risk.

MSPs must protect their infrastructure and devices. Cyber criminals target end user customers, but MSPs with extended supply chains and aversion to bad publicity are also targeted. Make sure that you have optimized your own security defenses to serve as a role model to your customers.

Cybersecurity expertise augments endpoint tools. Every endpoint is a potential point of failure for organizations–and an opportunity for MSPs to help businesses withstand a targeted attack. A security operations center (SOC) provides peace of mind that infrastructure is monitored and protected 24/7 by a fully staffed team of cybersecurity experts. MSPs can augment customer capabilities quickly and at scale for organizations without their own cybersecurity skills or sufficient staff.

Provide Defense-in-Depth for Endpoint Threats

Keeping customers safe and operational is your top priority. As customers continue to enhance their cybersecurity posture, position your MSP capabilities to move beyond legacy point products that only partially address endpoint security. Rather than merely offering anti-virus tools, Netsurion can help you use a prevention-first approach to maximize endpoint security. Netsurion’s managed endpoint protection platform is powered by deep learning that offers zero-time prevention and operational simplicity. Learn more about how we predict, prevent, detect and help you respond to customer threats.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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