Endpoint Security Solutions and Their Contribution Towards Cybersecurity Amid an Increasingly Volatile Technological Landscape

By Saloni Walimbe, Content Writer at Global Market Insights, Inc.

These days, organizations, regardless of their size or magnitude, are susceptible to a host of critical cyberattacks from various sources. Hacktivists, accidental or malicious insider threats, organized crime, nation-states, and many other such sources pose a significant risk to organizations across the globe. Studies suggest that in 2019 nearly 68% of IT security personnel from various businesses claimed to have experienced at least one or more endpoint cyberattacks that led to compromised IT infrastructures and data assets. As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve and expand across the global landscape, the need for sophisticated endpoint security systems has grown more pressing over the years.

The endpoint security market has evolved steadily in the last decade or so, given that this technology is considered to be a frontline measure in cybersecurity and is one of the first solutions organizations seek in order to safeguard their business networks.

Modern endpoint protection programs are built to conduct speedy detection, analysis, blockage, and containment of ongoing cyberattacks. To do this efficiently, these systems need to collaborate with other security systems and technologies to provide high visibility to administrators regarding advanced threats, in order to enhance response times for identification and remediation.

Endpoint security market and the significance of this technology in the modern era

Endpoint security refers to the practice of safeguarding the entry points or “endpoints” of myriad end-user devices such as mobile devices, laptops, and desktops, among others, against exploitation by malicious campaigns and actors. Essentially, these systems protect the network or cloud endpoints from cyberattacks and threats. The industry has evolved significantly over the years, transcending the basic characteristics of conventional antivirus software to emerge as a comprehensive protection system against zero-day threats and advanced malware. Endpoint security services range from web filtering to firewall services, to email filtering to antivirus, and more.

Endpoint protection is a critical element in business practices, in order to ensure that integral systems, customer and employee data, intellectual properties, and guests are safe from phishing, ransomware, malware, and other such cyberattacks.

This significance of endpoint protection platforms or EPPs is attributed to various reasons. For instance, in the current business landscape, data is one of the most valuable assets possessed by organizations, the loss or unauthorized access of which can pose insolvency risks to the entire business operation. Meanwhile, modern businesses now have to handle not just an upsurge in the number of endpoints, but also a rapid increase in the diverse types of endpoints. While these factors make business endpoint security more challenging, the onset of BYOD (bring your own device) regulations and remote work schedules have created further insufficiencies and vulnerabilities in perimeter security.

In addition to these issues, the cybersecurity threat spectrum is becoming increasingly more complex, with hackers developing novel ways to steal data, gain access to integral business networks or con employees into revealing sensitive information. For instance, Emotet, a sophisticated polymorphic trojan is a continuously evolving malware that consists of malicious scripts and social engineering techniques. The malware spreads predominantly via email, containing either a link that connects to a downloader document or a malicious document attached to the mail.

Once opened, the attached Emotet malware shifts into a directory and integrates itself into the start-up folder. The malware then spreads across the business network, seizing credentials, and increases exposure. Furthermore, Emotet evolves continuously, taking one machine and re-infecting it constantly to inflict persistent damage.

In response to the rising prevalence of malware programs such as these, endpoint protection platforms have rapidly emerged as a must-have solution for the security needs of modern businesses.

BYOD security measures become paramount as reliance on personal devices grows

The advent of the COVID-19 disease outbreak has triggered significant changes across myriad workplace operations. Workplace dynamics have witnessed a rapid shift, with remote working and the use of personal digital devices becoming the norm in the current industrial landscape. A collaborative study by Stanford, MIT, and NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) has revealed that over 34% of Americans have transitioned to a work-from-home model as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This number, when combined with the previous 14.6% of workers already working remotely, has brought the total number of employees working from home to almost half the workforce in America.

This shift in working trends has also created a surge in the use of personal devices by employees to conduct business activities. While this may be a convenient method of accessing work-related information remotely, the use of unsecured and vulnerable devices also presents several concerns regarding business security.

For instance, the main reasons for hesitation from enterprises towards adopting a BYOD model are employee privacy and company security. These problems generally come to a head when IT teams request access to these personal devices in order to secure them. According to reports, many employees are very resistant to handing over access to their personal devices to employers, even when the devices are being used to conduct work-related activities. Furthermore, since the entire control of personal devices is in the hands of the owner, inadequate safety and backup measures and lack of efficient antivirus solutions, among other risky practices pose significant risks for SMEs and their operations.

Considering that BYOD is rapidly becoming a way of life now, with many organizations moving to either a remote working or hybrid workplace environment, the demand for effective security tools is witnessing simultaneous growth. Options for effective security measures are endless, with software available for myriad purposes including malware detection and prevention, application access controls, and data encryption, to name a few. However, deploying these solutions to employee devices is a daunting task for many enterprises, especially those with limited IT resources.

Mobile device management serves as an ideal solution, in this case, offering a comprehensive portfolio of endpoint security features, such as software control, Password protection, remote wiping, and version management, among other tasks that generally take up a large chunk of enterprise IT resources. The automation of these tasks via MDM solutions thus frees up the IT department to deal with more pressing and complex tasks.

The endpoint security industry is poised to witness a considerably positive growth trajectory over the years, with prominent market leaders responding in earnest to the evolving cybersecurity demands from modern businesses. A notable example of this is cybersecurity firm McAfee, which recently initiated the general availability of its McAfee MVISION Insights security solution, the first proactive measure to alter the cybersecurity landscape by obstructing threats prior to the attack. The solution, which offers preemptive and actionable intelligence pertaining to the threat, uses McAfee’s advanced threat research and AI integration with real-time threat telemetry, streaming from more than 1 billion sensors.

Integrated with the company’s noted endpoint protection platform, MVISION Insights creates a robust security solution for the management of attack surfaces, prevention of ransomware attacks, and guidance for security teams to conduct timely investigations and responses to advanced cyber-attacks. As companies prepare themselves in real earnest to deal with security-related risks, endpoint security industry will continue to depict an exponential growth graph in the years to come.

An avid reader since childhood, Saloni is currently following her passion for content creation by penning down insightful articles relating to global industry trends, business, and trade & finance. With an MBA-Marketing qualification under her belt, she has spent two years as a content writer in the advertising field. Aside from her professional work, she is an ardent animal lover and enjoys movies, music, and books in her spare time.

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