Securing Endpoint Devices in a Remote World

The rapid and widespread shift to remote work has increased the complexity of endpoint security for enterprises with mobile workforces, and organizations have been hamstrung by a lack of resources, time, or even expertise on hand to address security gaps as they arise. As threat actors and hackers refine their tactics and snoop for ways to exploit vulnerabilities, organizations often don’t have the IT visibility and control to address or remediate every at-risk endpoint in a proactive fashion. 

Regrettably, research suggests that organizations that are not proactively looking for a way to find patching and remediation solutions within their budget are playing with fire. Nearly half of enterprise devices have gone dark to corporate IT or else have seen their operating systems become dated, making the prospect of a security breach more than a hypothetical threat for all too many organizations. In fact, the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that 70% of all successful network breaches originated on endpoint devices. 

If you’re one of the many organizations who have experienced an endpoint attack, you’re certainly not alone: 

  • A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that 68% of organizations have experienced one or more endpoint attacks that successfully compromised data and/or their IT infrastructure. The same report found that 68% of IT professionals found that the frequency of endpoint attacks was increasing (source).  
  • Of those, 81% involved some form of malware and 28% involved compromised or stolen devices. 
  • 71% of IT and security professionals found patching to be overly complex, cumbersome, and time consuming, an Ivanti survey reveals. In fact, 57% of respondents stated that remote work has increased the complexity and scale of patch management. (source 
  • Patching takes 2.5 times longer when endpoints are remote (source) 
  • 66% of respondents to the Ponemon Institute said that their organizations don’t have sufficient resources to minimize endpoint risks. Consequently, respondents indicated they could only address 52% of attacks with their current technologies and expertise (source). 

Comprehensive Compliant Security is the Only Real Solution  

The myriad of threats posed by evolving cyberattacks requires comprehensive security solutions so that IT teams can have a fighting chance of properly addressing all the different risks that endpoints face. Cybercriminals are aware that budget and resource limitations are leaving endpoints vulnerable as inviting targets for a potential breach. And adopting a thorough security posture is no longer a luxury or “nice to have” for SMBs, who represent 43% of these cyberattacks. 

Crippling endpoints to make them inoperable and then compromising corporate networks is a common strategy of cyberattacks, and resilience is the key to stopping breaches in their tracks through proactive remediation that patches up would-be vulnerabilities. The response has been to adopt endpoint management and self-healing capabilities that allow IT teams to discover every device on their network, and then manage and secure each device using modern, best-practice techniques that ensure end users are productive and company resources are safe. And to better facilitate IT for that end, more and more organizations are choosing to prioritize implementing or improving zero trust solutions as a standard part of their security posture. Zero trust is an information security model that grants IT strict access controls over users by not trusting anyone or any action by default when someone is logged on within a network security perimeter. Each transaction is evaluated for the identity of who is requesting it, what they need and what risk is involved in permitting them access. This security posture assumes breach threats are ever present and takes nothing for granted when verifying someone is allowed access within a network. In a cyber landscape full of malicious actors, the mantra is to never trust, always verify. 

Another great tool remains multi-factor authentication (MFA), which remains the gold standard for mitigating password risk and preventing cyber criminals from exploiting user credentials to gain access to a network. When used correctly, MFA can provide an additional layer of security that prevents opportunistic bad guys from compromising credentials, even if credentials were exposed by phishing campaigns, brute force attacks, keyloggers, credential stealing malware incidents or many other types of sophisticated intruder attempts. 

Managed detection and response (MDR) is an outsourced service that provides organizations with threat hunting services and responds to threats once they are discovered in real-time. MDR is a critical piece of IT security and can reduce the burden of monitoring and managing end points by offloading the job to an expert provider with 24x7x365 security operations center (SOC) that is dedicated to analyzing internal and external threats. 

Additionally, if organizations struggle to patch their endpoints, then it becomes a no-brainer that overwhelmed IT teams need to be given the tools to properly identify patching and remediation gaps before a bad actor does first. Remote and automated patching further ensures human error and IT visibility issues are remediated by phasing out manual patching for endpoint management. 

And to that end as part of a comprehensive security posture, Ntirety’s Workstation patching helps answer the call for IT departments in need of expert assistance to help navigate the perils of patching management and remediation for their enterprise endpoints. Workstation was designed to deliver critical, timely endpoint protection against vulnerabilities no matter where a workforce may be in the world. It also accelerates patch and remediation actions—such as bug fixes and security flaw correctionand is also used to meet strict compliance standards. And when implemented in tandem with Ntirety’s MDR (log management and threat management), the pair create an even more comprehensive security posture, because patching is a preventative, proactive measure to protect against threats and known vulnerabilities, while MDR helps identify, contain, and remediate risks as they arise. When used together, IT departments can comprehensively secure and manage any endpoint that connects with or impacts the health of their network, granting IT the visibility and control over endpoints necessary to identify and remediate problems as they arise and not after the fact.  

When it comes to compliance, patching tools such as Workstation are a necessary part of adhering to several compliance standards. Workstation in particular supports compliance requirements such as PCI and HIPAA while providing documentation via a reporting feature. Cloud operations also stand to benefit from Workstation patching, which includes patching for servers and virtual machines. 

The bottom line is that IT relies on patch management to ensure endpoint devices have the latest security, functionality, and features at scale to keep workforces productive and businesses protected around the clock. Ntirety’s Workstation augments an IT team’s remediation powers by ensuring that devices have the latest features and functionality at scale so that they can remain reliable, safe and secure from the bad actors of the world, making it an indispensable part of a truly comprehensive security posture.