How to Prevent an API Breach
According to analyst firm ESG, 92% of…
Endpoint security plays a vital role in safeguarding both individual user’s personal devices (from attacks like phishing, malicious downloads, intrusions)as well as organizational assets(from advanced persistent threats, data breaches, intellectual property theft). We cover the common methods organizations pursue to secure their endpoints.
Endpoint security is a crucial aspect of cybersecurity that focuses on protecting the endpoints, such as computers, laptops, servers, and mobile devices, within a network. Endpoints serve as entry points for potential cyber threats and are often targeted by hackers seeking to gain unauthorized access or compromise sensitive data.
Endpoint security involves implementing a combination of hardware and software solutions to safeguard these endpoints from various types of attacks. The goal is to ensure that each endpoint adheres to security policies and remains protected against malware infections, data breaches, unauthorized access attempts, and other cyber threats.
In the realm of computer networks and cybersecurity, an endpoint refers to a device or node that can initiate or receive communications over a network. Endpoints are typically devices such as computers, laptops, servers, mobile phones, tablets, IoT (Internet of Things) devices, and any other network-connected device.
Endpoints serve as the entry points for users to access network resources or connect with other endpoints within the network. They often interact with server-side applications and services to fulfill various tasks and functions. Examples of these tasks include accessing files on a shared drive, sending/receiving emails, browsing websites, sending data between systems, and more.
Each endpoint has its unique identifier known as an IP address (Internet Protocol address), which enables communication between different endpoints across the internet or local area networks (LANs). These IP addresses allow endpoints to send requests for information or services and receive responses from other devices in the network.
However, endpoints are not limited to physical devices; they can also be virtual machines(VMs)or containers running on servers.Endpoints provide a way for users/users defined processes/automated scripts/software applications/third-party services to interact with the underlying infrastructure(network/server/storage).
While providing connectivity, enabling resource sharing, and facilitating collaboration, endpoints pose inherent security risks. Cybercriminals target endpoints aiming to gain unauthorized access, stifle their functionality through malware attacks(examples: viruses, trojans, ransomware),exploit software vulnerabilities, and steal sensitive data. Hence, it is crucial to implement appropriate security measures like antivirus solutions, personal firewalls, virtual private networks(VPNs),and encryption protocols, to protect endpoints from potential threats.
Endpoint security plays a vital role in safeguarding both individual user’s personal devices(from attacks like phishing, malicious downloads, intrusions)as well as organizational assets(from advanced persistent threats, data breaches, intellectual property theft). Here are some common types of endpoint security that organizations use to safeguard their networks:
Antivirus/Anti-malware Software: Antivirus and anti-malware software is one of the most basic yet essential components of endpoint security. It detects and removes malicious software like viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, ransomware, adware, and other malware that could potentially compromise the system.
Firewall Protection: A firewall acts as a barrier between internal trusted networks and external untrusted networks (like the Internet). It monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predefined rules or policies. Firewalls help prevent unauthorized access attempts by filtering out suspicious or malicious traffic.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR): EDR solutions provide advanced threat detection capabilities by collecting real-time data from endpoints across the network. They monitor for unusual behavior patterns indicative of cyberattacks or breaches. EDR tools offer proactive detection and response mechanisms to quickly mitigate potential threats before they cause significant damage.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP): DLP systems protect sensitive data by identifying and preventing its unauthorized transmission outside an organization’s controlled environment through various channels such as email attachments or USB drives. These solutions can detect patterns in communication to block any attempt at leaking confidential information.
Patch Management: Regularly updating software applications with patches helps fix vulnerabilities identified by developers or security researchers after release—a critical preventive measure against potential attacks exploiting known vulnerabilities.
Encryption: Encrypting data ensures that even if it falls into unauthorized hands during transit or storage through methods like secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates or virtual private networks (VPNs), it remains unreadable without decryption keys.
Network Access Control(NAC): NAC enforces security policies by controlling access to a network based on user identity, device type, and compliance status. It verifies devices’ security posture before granting them access and ensures only authorized users with compliant devices gain entry.
Mobile Device Management (MDM): With the increasing use of mobile devices in workplaces, MDM solutions help enforce endpoint security policies on smartphones and tablets. They enable organizations to manage, secure, monitor, and control mobile endpoints within their network infrastructure.
Sandboxing: In the context of cybersecurity, sandboxes are virtual environments that simulate the functionality and behavior of an operating system or software application. When untrusted programs or files are run within a sandbox, they are confined within its boundaries and cannot access resources outside of it.
Browser isolation: Browser isolation is a cybersecurity technique that aims to protect users and their devices from web-based threats by creating an isolated environment for web browsing activities. It involves separating the user’s browsing session from their local device and network, running it in a secure container or virtual machine.
URL filtering: When a user attempts to visit a website, the URL filter examines the requested URL against the defined policy rules. If the website falls within an allowed category according to the policy configuration,the user is granted access. On the other hand if it matches any blocked category,the request is denied,and appropriate action can be taken,such as displaying a block page or redirecting users to an alternative site.
APIs, including API endpoints, are an integral part of the enterprise software ecosystem. They are the key ingredient in digital transformation. APIs can also be a source of cybersecurity risk. Their open nature makes them a frequent target of hackers who want to access the data and applications that sit behind them. API security best practices make it possible to mitigate a great proportion of API risk. To work, these practices need to focus on the complete API picture, starting with the SDLC and continuing through API inventory tracking and monitoring of APIs at runtime. An organization that pursues these best practices is well positioned to have a strong API security posture.
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