These days, one would be hard pressed to find an employee that doesn't utilize at least one mobile device for work purposes. Whether it's checking a corporate email account on a smartphone during the morning commute or finishing up a presentation on a laptop over lunch, mobile devices are now a work essential, and are here to stay.
However, enterprise administrators cannot allow these processes to go on ungoverned. If an employee leverages their smartphone, tablet or laptop in an unsafe manner while completing a project for work, they could be putting the sensitive information of the entire organization at risk. Especially when used to access business resources like applications and other platforms, these endpoints must be adequately protected to ensure their safe operation will benefit staff members and the company as a whole.
Talking about endpoint protection and effectively putting actions to words is oftentimes easier said than done, particularly within corporate environments. It can be a difficult and daunting task to safeguard every mobile device utilized within a company, especially when shadow IT runs rampant throughout the business industry. By following the advice of experts and observing proven best practices, however, administrators and supervisors can all but eliminate any threats to their company's mobility strategy.
What constitutes an endpoint?
One of the first steps to take with any endpoint protection initiative is to define what is included under the endpoint umbrella. With the advent of BYOD practices, 'endpoint' was traditionally used to refer to everyday mobile devices: smartphones, tablets and laptops. This has changed recently with the emergence of the Internet of Things, Forbes contributor Adrian Bridgwater pointed out.
Now, all items that can connect to the enterprise network to transmit and receive data should be considered endpoints, including wearable devices and any appliances or other items equipped with IoT sensors. Therefore, all of these devices should be included in an endpoint protection approach.
Endpoint protection best practices: Keep mobile malware protection updated
Symantec's Endpoint Security Best Practices Survey examined the frequency of mobile device malware attacks and the scale of each instance and determined that on average, a conventional company accrues $470,000 in annual losses due to endpoint attacks. One of the best ways to avoid security incidents of this kind is to prevent the root cause: intrusion due to a mobile malware infection.
McAfee Labs advised that businesses put mobile malware protection software in place to guard against the rising levels of samples found on the mobile platform. As corporate employees utilize their endpoints for increasingly sensitive company processes, hackers are targeting these devices more and more. For this reason, it is not only critical to have protection measures in place that can detect suspicious activity symptomatic of an infection, but to keep these safeguards as up to date as possible. This way, even the newest infections can be prevented.
Include network-level protection measures
In addition to device-level security, the company should also have safety measures directly on the network. This step can ensure that even if an infected device is able to access the network, the malware cannot spread to other endpoints. Taking this approach not only protects the devices used by staff members, but can also ensure the security of important applications and other resources.
Utilize the services of security vendor
Oftentimes, deploying network- and device-level security can be a challenging task for a company's IT team. When issues like this arise, it is best to trust the experts and utilize the services of an outside provider like Trend Micro. Trend Micro's all-encompassing Enterprise Endpoint Security provides all the security companies need to ensure the protection of mobile endpoints both on and off the network. This industry-leading solution, when coupled with Trend Micro's Enterprise Data Protection, guarantees that no matter where sensitive company data travels, it is secured.
Create an overarching endpoint security policy
Finally, to tie all the company's efforts together, administrators should establish an organization-wide endpoint security policy. This document provides best practices for employees, including the use of authentication credentials and other security steps they should take. Additionally, the policy will also spell out details in connection with the protection measures the company has in place and what these mean for staff members.